My colleague, Joseph Sarkis, wrote a blog about the buzz around policy in light of Hurricane Sandy. He pointed out that much of this buzz centered on how the extreme weather event might impact the presidential election and wondered about the potential for traction beyond November 6, 2012.
He identified and discussed the difference between climate-change adaptation, adjusting infrastructure, policies, and systems to handle weather and climate extremes, versus climate-change mitigation, policies and practices that will result in the reduction of the forces that drive climate change.
Here’s my comment on his blog. I hope to hear your thoughts:
It seems that change will happen only when there are repeated negative impacts to locales with powerful constituencies – namely New York and Washington, DC.
As with most climate change consequences, the brunt of Hurricane Sandy was was largely borne by the more vulnerable, those less advantaged and with fewer resources to respond: those in low lying areas and those who are more dependent on public transportation.
Yet this weather event did come close to serious impact for Wall Street. Is it politically incorrect to note that if there could possibly be any kind of silver lining it would be a wake-up call for at least adaptation.
It’s unclear what kind of events will have both social momentum and powered interests focused on long-term strategies versus those that are the least expensive in the short term and the least politically controversial.