This has been a thoroughly dishonest presidential campaign in which all our politicians carefully avoided any mention of climate change, because it might offend the Koch Brothers or Exxon. Not too long ago, Mitt Romney and his speechwriters thought they’d come up with a clever new way to mock President Obama: they ridiculed his 2008 promise to “slow the rise of the oceans.” Campaigning in Minnesota yesterday, former President Bill Clinton suggested that joke is a lot less funny now, with streets flooded in New York and New Jersey.
Hurricane Sandy did an estimated $50 billion in damage, not to mention the cost of shutting down New York City and a large part of the East Coast for two days. The New York Stock Exchange closed due to weather for the first time since 1888. Because New York is a media hub, the World Wide Web and TV programming were affected by the storm.
The real world has finally intruded on our political discourse, but unfortunately it took a large-scale weather disaster to break through.
UPDATE: Post-Sandy, Rush Limbaugh still thinks climate change is a hoax.
“Neither party wants to offend the fossil fuel industry,” he told Current TV host Cenk Uygur. “They want to win the election, and they know the power of the fossil fuel industry. You can’t turn on your television without seeing these advertisements about clean coal, clean tar sands and the claim that there’s more jobs associated with fossil fuels than other industries. That’s of course not true, but they’re hammering that into the voters’ heads.”