After I said that environmental issues loomed large in the U.S. Presidential campaign, we were treated to almost complete silence on the topic; notably, global climate change (GCC) was not mentioned in any of the four debates. Now, finally, with the tragedy wrought by Sandy, we are hearing about GCC and how the different candidates might handle it.
Even Mayor Bloomberg has gotten into the act, endorsing Obama over Romney in part because he now believes that "Mr. Obama was the better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage."
Is this the point at which Americans will finally start taking GCC seriously and do something about it?
One good sign is that Americans belief in the reality of GCC has increased by 13 percentage points over the past two and a half years, from 57 percent in January 2010 to 70 percent in September 2012; it is at the highest point since 2008 (see study from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication).
Sad if it will take a tragedy like Sandy to finally wake the rest of the country up. Even sadder if it doesn't wake them up.