Hurricane Sandy a boon to global warming speculation

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While global warming hysteria in recent years largely fell off many Americans’ radar, Hurricane Sandy has brought back climate change speculation with a vengeance: This week has seen politicians, pundits and entertainers engaged in hypotheses about the role global warming played in producing the monster storm.

“Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come,” former Democratic vice president and global warming activist Al Gore explained in a Tuesday blog post. “We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather.”

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed with Gore, telling ABC News that he believes the former vice president’s prognosis — that Sandy was a symptom of climate change — to be “right.”

“I said kiddingly the other day, ‘We have a 100-year flood every two years now.’ These situations never happened or if they happened, they were never going to happen again. … I think at this point it’s undeniable that we have a higher frequency of these extreme weather situations, and we’re going to have to deal with it,” ABC News quoted the governor as saying.

MSNBC contributor Meghan McCain weighed in on Twitter, offering a question to her “fellow” Republicans.

“So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow republicans?” McCain tweeted.

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd also engaged in a bit of global warming speculation, in a clip highlighted by the conservative Weasel Zippers blog.

“Let’s not bury our heads in the sand when it comes to — something has changed in the Atlantic, the climate has changed. It’s called climate change, folks.” Todd said on his show, “The Daily Rundown.”

The Weasel Zippers also pointed out recent tweets by actress, singer and “noted climate scientist” Bette Midler.

“But it isn’t this one,” Midler tweeted Tuesday. “Reality does matter. 90 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every day has a consequence. We saw it yesterday.”

The San Francisco Chronicle quoted Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer as saying there is “a group of people in Washington who just deny the truth [about climate change].”

“We’re going to pay a price for the change in climate in one of two ways,” Schumer said, according to the Chronicle. “We’ll either have to totally re-adapt our city… or we can take the bull by the horns and deal with the issue,” he said.

Independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also speculated that Sandy and other recent, unforgiving storms could be due to global warming.

“What is clear is that the storms we’ve experienced in the last year or so around this country and around the world are much more severe than before,” Bloomberg said at a Tuesday press conference, according to The Huffington Post. “Whether that’s global warming or what, I don’t know, but we’ll have to address those issues.”

Both President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney have devoted little time to discussing climate change. Indeed, the issue was not mentioned once during the three presidential debates — leading left-wing movie director Oliver Stone to note to The Huffington Post that Sandy was “punishment” for ignoring the issue.

While many speculated about Sandy as a consequence of climate change, Fox News highlighted a scientists who disputed the claim that climate change had anything to do with the behemoth, including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Martin Hoerling, who said climate change has little to no effect on hurricanes.

“Great events can have little causes,” Hoerling told The New York Times. “In this case, the immediate cause is most likely little more that the coincidental alignment of a tropical storm with an extratropical storm.”

“Neither the frequency of tropical or extratropical cyclones over the North Atlantic are projected to appreciably change due to climate change, nor have there been indications of a change in their statistical behavior over this region in recent decades,” Hoerling added.

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