Weather Might Decide 2016 Election
By Michael Silverstein
Predicting the weather months in advance is usually little better than pure guesswork. Nonetheless, there are seasonal variations that can at least be said to be possibilities.
The hurricane season, for example, begins in June and tends to peak sometime in late summer. You can’t know in advance how many of these will be spawned in the Atlantic, and how many of them (if any), will hit the East Coast of the U.S.
But suppose a big one did hit this summer. The way Sandy did in 2012, causing billions of dollars in damages all the way up the coast to New York.
A big one this summer that first struck southern Florida and wended its way up the coast could have far more devastating effects. Why? Because global warming would make such a storm more powerful with stronger and higher sea surges. Certain areas of the coast, such as southern Florida and Norfolk, Virginia, have also gradually been sinking, again because of the effects of global warming and the sea level rise it’s causing.
Which brings us to the political implications of this sort of storm. The platforms of both major parties at present don’t seem to be making much of an issue of dealing with global warming. But a devastating tragedy the likes of another Hurricane Sandy could raise the issue to the very top of the agenda.
How likely is something like this coming to pass?
Some time in the very near future the dimensions of the threat to our entire species from human-enhanced global warming will deeply penetrate the populr and political consciousness. It would happen via the scenario described above. Perhaps as awful as that would be, it would at least do the job of consciousness raising soon.
And the sooner the better.
(Michael Silverstein is a former senior editor with Bloomberg News and is now a regular contributor to the Planet Philadelphia radio show.)
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