Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: Sandy and Government Thumps Republicon Doctrine & Denial

Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 5, 2012, 12:44 a.m. EST by WSmith (1866) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hundred year storms happening in five year intervals, and "Big Government" comes to the rescue. Where's the Republicon's denial of climate change and the horrors of "Big Government" NOW???

Ask (R) Chis Christie and (R) Mayor Bloomberg!!

This Tuesday may TRUTH trump LIES!!

The Nation / By Mark Hertsgaard Can Sandy Help Jolt America Out of Climate Change Denial?

For decades, scientists have been warning that global warming would bring a catastrophic increase in extreme weather. When will we start listening?

October 31, 2012 |

The following article first appeared in the Nation. For more great content from the Nation, sign up for their email newsletters here.

Never has a hurricane been more aptly, if tragically, named than Sandy, the superstorm that flooded New York City and battered much of the East Coast. At press time, the storm had killed at least forty-three people and caused an estimated $32 billion in damages to buildings and infrastructure—figures expected to increase in the coming days as emergency personnel pick through the wreckage—and left 8 million homes without electricity.

Sandy is short for Cassandra, the Greek mythological figure who epitomizes tragedy. The gods gave Cassandra the gift of prophecy; depending on which version of the story one prefers, she could either see or smell the future. But with this gift also came a curse: Cassandra’s warnings about future disasters were fated to be ignored. That is the essence of this tragedy: to know that a given course of action will lead to disaster but to pursue it nevertheless.

And so it has been with America’s response to climate change. For more than twenty years, scientists and others have been warning that global warming, if left unaddressed, would bring a catastrophic increase in extreme weather—summers like that of 2012, when the United States endured the hottest July on record and the worst drought in fifty years, mega-storms like the one now punishing the East Coast.

Hurricanes are fueled by hot ocean surface temperatures. The Atlantic Ocean is about five degrees Fahrenheit hotter than usual this fall, and as Katharine Hayhoe of the University of Texas has noted , about 15 percent of this extra heat is directly due to global warming. The flooding unleashed by Sandy is especially destructive, Kayhoe adds, because global warming has caused sea levels in the New York region to rise by one foot over the past century.

But scientists’ warnings have been by and large ignored—at least within the corridors of power in Washington. As in the myth of Cassandra, today it remains unclear whether even the latest catastrophe—the devastation of America’s greatest city, its center of commerce, finance and, tellingly, the news media—will cause the nation to wake up and take serious action.

There are signs of hope. Speaking Tuesday in Minneapolis, former president Bill Clinton called out Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney for ridiculing the idea of fighting climate change, thereby becoming the first political heavyweight to explicitly link Sandy with climate change. Slowing the rise of the oceans, as candidate Barack Obama pledged to do in 2008, but which Romney mocked in his address to this year’s Republican national convention, sounds like a pretty good idea in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Clinton said, adding, “In my part of America, we would like it if someone could have done that yesterday.”

New York governor Andrew Cuomo , in a press briefing Tuesday morning, did not raise the climate connection himself but did affirm it. “We have a 100-year flood every two years now,” Cuomo said he told president Obama by telephone. “Anyone who thinks that there is not a dramatic shift in weather patterns is denying reality,” Cuomo added. (CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/environment/can-sandy-help-jolt-america-out-climate-change-denial )


OnTheCommons.org / By David Morris

A Stormy Reminder of Why We Need Government

Seven years ago, Katrina showed the tragic consequences when government fails its duty to respond to natural disasters.

October 30, 2012 |

If this election is a referendum on the benefit of government then superstorm Sandy should be Exhibit A for the affirmative. The government weather service, using data from government weather satellites delivered a remarkably accurate and sobering long range forecast that both catalyzed action and gave communities sufficient time to prepare. Those visually stunning maps you saw on the web or t.v. were largely based on public data made publicly available from local, state and federal agencies.

As the storm neared, governors and mayors ordered the evacuation of low lying areas. Police and firefighters ensured these orders were carried out and helped those needing assistance. As the storm hit, mayors imposed curfews.

Government 911 and 311 telephone operators quickly and effectively responded to hundreds of thousands of individual calls for assistance and information. Indeed, the volume of those calls may lead us to propose a different answer to the question asked by those famous lines from the movie Ghostbusters. “If there’s something weird and it don’t look good who ya gonna call?” Government.

Public schools and other public buildings were quickly converted into temporary shelters. Transit systems and bridges were closed when public safety might be compromised.

Tens of thousands National Guard troops were mobilized to assist at evacuation shelters, route clearance, search and rescue and delivery of essential equipment and supplies. The military’s USNORTHCOM placed its forces on 24-hour alert to provide medium and heavy lift helicopters and rescue teams, and activated local military bases for possible use by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Before the storm hit state agencies required emergency preparedness plans from publicly regulated utilities and after the storm hit monitored their responses.

The President quickly issued Major Disaster Declarations that allowed states and communities to access funding for recovery efforts. His ongoing hands-on role earned him the fulsome praise of New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie who told Good Morning America, “I have to say, the administration, the president himself and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate have been outstanding with us so far.”

Public agencies swung into action to protect bridges, and roads, and sewer plants and subways—and to plan for a cleanup that will require clearing debris, repairing infrastructure, and providing financial and other assistance to homeowners and businesses.

Seven years ago, Katrina showed the tragic consequences when government fails its duty to respond to natural disasters. But that was the exception that proves the rule. When disasters hit, the government is the only agent with the authority and capacity to marshal and mobilize resources sufficient to the undertaking. It can coordinate across jurisdictions and with both the public and private sectors. That’s because its mission is not to enhance its balance sheet but to preserve the well being of its citizens. And in October 2012 it has shown how effectively it can perform that task.

David Morris is co-founder and vice president of the Institute for Local Self Reliance in Minneapolis, Minn., and director of its New Rules project.


http://www.alternet.org/environment/nyc-mayor-bloomberg-endorses-obama-cites-sandy-and-climate-change-deciding-factors

VOTE the Cons OUT!

1 Comments

1 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 1 points by WSmith (1866) from Cornelius, OR 1 year ago

Hurricane Sandy Blows Away Political Pretense and Ideological Nonsense [aka GOP Lies]

Posted on Nov 2, 2012

By Joe Conason

The ruin and hardship inflicted by a natural disaster can reveal truths that political propaganda tends to obscure. When Hurricane Sandy destroyed swaths of the Northeast, darkened our largest city and plunged a huge section of the nation into crisis, the anti-government ideology of the tea party Republicans—and its panderers like Mitt Romney—was exposed as pretense and nonsense.

Suddenly responsible for saving their communities and their people, politicians of every stripe reached out for help from the big Washington government and the liberal Democratic president many of them had previously reviled. They were duly impressed by his alert, active and concerned response.

None of this should have surprised us. What we learned from Sandy is the same lesson that Katrina ought to have taught us years ago: The right wing disdain for government can imperil your health, your family’s safety and your nation’s security.

Yet we clearly needed to learn it all again—and the events of the past few days have been starkly instructive.

At the center of the storm’s aftermath stood New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, different in political outlook but united in their commitment to provide relief to their communities and in their own need for assistance from the federal government. None of these men is an anti-government ideologue. Surrounded by suffering and wreckage, they looked to Washington because no other power could begin to cope with the boggling problems they confront, both immediately and as they contemplate reconstruction.

The partisan divisions of a national election shouldn’t matter at such a moment, as Christie observed impatiently when a Fox News anchor suggested that he provide a photo opportunity for Romney in the disaster area. What rightly mattered to the New Jersey governor was President Obama’s focused and intelligent presence—and he didn’t hesitate to praise the Democrat whose leadership he has questioned so often since the Republican convention in August.

Now the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the military services and all the other powers of government are mobilizing, as they have done so many times before, to bring relief and rebuilding to devastated communities. Having struck the nation’s media and financial center, this storm is more visible than many previous disasters, but the principle always remains the same: America is one nation that lifts up those in pain and in need together.

This catastrophe is different, too, because it occurred during the final days of a presidential election—creating a tricky situation for Romney or any other challenger, to be sure. But after years of encouraging anti-government extremism in order to win his party’s nomination, the Republican candidate finds himself in even greater difficulty.

While the president canceled his campaign schedule and flew northward to join the relief effort, Romney struggled for relevance. Presumably with the best intentions, he tried to transform an Ohio rally into a charitable gathering, where his campaign would collect canned food and bottled water for hurricane victims. But then his campaign workers were caught purchasing cases of food and water at a local Walmart, evidently planning to stage fake giving if necessary.

As he played his role in this flummery, Romney repeatedly refused to answer questions from reporters about his vow to dismantle FEMA as a cost-cutting measure. It would be “immoral” to spend money on federal disaster relief, as he told a debate audience in 2011, when the government is running a substantial deficit. And it is true that the budget and tax policies promoted by Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, would require such significant cuts in domestic spending as to decimate disaster relief.

Disbanding FEMA and discarding its skilled personnel apparently would be fine with Romney, who said “absolutely” when asked by CNN’s John King whether he would consign disaster relief to the states rather than the federal government. For that matter he would go still further, said the former Massachusetts governor; best of all would be to let the private sector assume FEMA’s responsibilities.

Nobody asked Romney how a privatized FEMA would function, but it is interesting to imagine the private-equity version of disaster management—and how that entity might squeeze profit from tragedy. Under present circumstances, the Romney campaign denies any plan to abolish FEMA, but who really knows?

In this awful moment Christie, Cuomo, Bloomberg—and every other official watching them—must have realized that should cataclysm strike their city or state, they have a reliable partner in President Obama. The Romney Republicans inspire no such confidence.