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Will Hurricane Sandy Force Us All To Pay Closer Attention To The Issue Of Climate Change?

Submitted by on November 5, 2012 – 12:49 pm4 Comments

As a resident of New Jersey, I can attest to the fact that Hurricane Sandy has been a life-changing event. Fortunately, outside of losing power for a couple of days and getting stuck in a ton of traffic over the course of the last week as a result of downed trees, long gas lines, and power outages at traffic signals, I wasn’t hit all that hard by the hurricane. It was inconvenient, for sure, but it didn’t cost me any money and it didn’t change my living arrangements drastically like it did for so many of my friends and family. But, it did change my attitude towards the issue of climate change.

I’m not a scientist, and I’m not going to pretend to know more than I do about the Earth and the environment. But, it seems like something is not right when it comes to the climate right now. In the hours leading up to the hurricane, my girlfriend and I sat watching the Weather Channel and talked about how things like hurricanes coming through the Garden State weren’t what we were used to. Blizzards? Sure, we’ve seen our fair share of those. But, serious hurricanes were something that used to only impact northern states on the East Coast once in a blue moon. Now, we’ve survived two of them in the last two years. That makes me think that the storms weren’t just a fluke. They have to be part of a larger pattern of climate change.

Maybe—make that hopefully—I’m wrong. Hopefully, Hurricane Irene and Hurricane Sandy are just fluky storms that, for whatever reason, worked their way up the coast. Hopefully, storms like these won’t affect us again for a long, long time. Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with downed trees, long gas lines, and power outages at traffic signals for at least a decade, if not longer. But, something just feels like it’s not right today when it comes to the weather. Like I said, I’m not a scientist, and I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know exactly what’s going on with the world. But, I hope that Hurricane Sandy makes more of us question what we’re doing to our planet and how it’s having an effect on weather patterns around the world.

If we don’t do that and we don’t start asking questions in the aftermath of Sandy, we may be in for more weather like this in the future. And, next time, I might not be so lucky. It might be my house, my car, and my life being destroyed. Here in New Jersey, we’re going to rebuild. But, I also hope that we start acknowledging the issue of climate change. It may be playing a bigger role in the world than any of us think. So, let’s start acting like it.

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