The past 48 hours have undoubtedly reminded America that climate change and rising sea levels are not a joke.
Initial estimates have placed a price tag of around $50 billion dollars on Hurricane Sandy, parts of the country’s largest city and financial center could be shut down for weeks, and politicians from both sides of the partisan divide are united in their somber response to the recovery challenge.
But the past 48 hours have also reminded America about one of the biggest laugh lines from Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention:
Forecast the Facts, a group working to publicize the facts about climate change, produced the video to remind voters about the serious challenges our next president will face and remind the candidates that maintaining climate silence through three debates won’t address these issues:
Millions of Americans are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy, a horrific, fossil-fueled storm. Climate scientists agree that global warming pollution was a key factor in its destructive power, so Mitt Romney must hope we forgot that he mocked climate change at the Republican National Convention, to the raucous cheers and applause of the GOP delegates. We didn’t forget.
We’re putting out this video to remind every voter struck by Sandy that Mitt Romney thinks the poisoning of our weather is a joke. Climate Silence members have been leading the charge against climate silence for months. But in the final week of this election, the most powerful climate messenger turned out to be the harrowing reality of a freakish Frankenstorm.
Sandy is without question the October Surprise of 2012, and it has pushed climate change to the forefront of a campaign where it was previously almost entirely absent.
As families recover and voters head to the polls, we want the American public to remember this cold fact: less than two months before sea level rise devastated New York City with more powerful storm surges, Governor Romney laughed at the very notion of rising seas.
Our next President must be someone who is prepared to forthrightly address climate change disasters like Sandy. The tragedy of Hurricane Sandy has made it crystal clear: it’s time to end the climate silence.
Brad Johnson, Campaign Manager, Forecast the Facts
Image: Hurricane Sandy via NOAA/NASA GOES Project