Earlier today, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave his official endorsement to President Barack Obama.
After a lukewarm statement yesterday about climate's effect on the storm, now climate change is front and center on Bloomberg's radar.
“Our climate is changing,” penned the mayor in a Bloomberg News editorial. “One [candidate] sees climate change as an urgent problem that threatens our planet; one does not. I want our president to place scientific evidence and risk management above electoral politics.”
President Obama says he is “honored” to have Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement, and broke his own climate silence in response (other than MTV, he hasn't discussed it):
“I'm honored to have Mayor Bloomberg's endorsement. I deeply respect him for his leadership in business, philanthropy and government, and appreciate the extraordinary job he's doing right now, leading New York City through these difficult days.
“While we may not agree on every issue, Mayor Bloomberg and I agree on the most important issues of our time - that the key to a strong economy is investing in the skills and education of our people, that immigration reform is essential to an open and dynamic democracy, and that climate change is a threat to our children's future, and we owe it to them to do something about it. …” [H/T TPMemo]
During the 2008 presidential election, Mayor Bloomberg, an independent, did not endorse either Obama or McCain. And while he's still quite critical of the president's last 4 years in office, after experiencing 2 hurricanes in 14 months, the mayor is choosing to side with the candidate that reduced emissions instead of the one that flat-out refuses to acknowledge there's a problem.
In fact, Bloomberg cites that it's Romney's reversal on several issues that leaves a bad taste in his mouth. Years ago the Massachussetts governor signed the state onto the Northeast's regional cap and trade system to help reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change.
However, after signing onto the Republican ticket for the presidential race, Romney has continually stated he would take measures to roll back efficiency standards, pollution-curbing regulations, green jobs, money for clean energy, and let the oil and gas industry run free.
While the city has taken measures in recent years to reduce its own carbon footprint through the mayor's PlaNYC program, he goes on to say that we need action on a national level to fully combat the threat of climate change.
“We need leadership from the White House – and over the past four years, President Barack Obama has taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks. His administration also has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants…which are estimated to kill 13,000 Americans a year.”
Superstorm Sandy's price tag will easily end up in the tens of billions and it will take months to fully repair all the damage (not including the loss of life, which can never be repaired). It's not sustainable, logical, or ethical to think we should “adapt” to extreme weather events like these, instead of taking active steps to reduce carbon pollution.