This is a chilling video of a voicemail from a Hurricane Sandy victim in the Long Island neighborhood of Rockaway Peninsula. With scientists telling us that climate change is raising sea levels, storm surges and the intensity of hurricanes there is only one way to describe these folks: they are among the first North American climate refugees.
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Andrea Saul currently serves as Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s press secretary, but in 2006 she was heavily involved in the attack against the scientific evidence showing that climate change was happening, humans were to blame and the result would be extreme disruption of weather patterns.
Shortly after Hurricane Katrina leveled New Orleans Saul had this to say in a press release:
Coming off one of the most devastating hurricane seasons in recent memory, many are quick to blame the strength and frequency of these storms on global warming. Leading climate scientists, however, say there is no link between increased storm activity and a massive change in global climate.
No coincidence that Saul was at the time working for the PR firm DCI Group who was paid millions by oil giant ExxonMobil to downplay concerns about climate change.
Saul is well-versed in the role of climate science spindoctor and showed that in July, 2011 when she told Politico that:
“Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale.”
Yes, CO2 is natural, but so is water and it is perfectly safe until you are drowning in it.
So what is Saul going to say on behalf of Romney in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the latest and most extreme example of how our climate is changing for the worse? There is very little wiggle room this time around.
If voters weren’t looking for leaders and long term solutions on the issue of extreme weather and climate change before Hurricane Sandy, they sure are now.
Last year, the US broke the record for the most billion-dollar weather disasters in a year, which was 14 events costing a total of $47 billion. Just the other day the insurance giant Munich Re released a new report finding that the number of weather-related loss events each in year in the United States has grown 500% over the last 30 years, costing Americans over one trillion dollars.
And, of course if the trends continue, extreme weather is only going to destroy more homes, more roads, more buildings… not to mention more lives.
This is as much an issue related to the economy as it is a human rights and environmental degradation and people like Andrea Saul and her boss Mitt Romney need to stop spinning and start taking climate change and extreme weather seriously.
Guess we will see what happens. Any predictions?