Hurricane Sandy which ravaged the US East Coast is a wake-up call for the American leadership. Few New Yorkers had imagined in their wildest dreams that they would have to face such extraordinary ordeal. A city that never sleeps is now having a nightmare, almost crippled, facing severe power outage and transportation trauma in the wake of the super storm.
Despite having super infrastructure and mind-blowing development, the damage and devastation in the Big apple amply demonstrated how vulnerable New York and New Jersey are in the face of natural calamities.
CNN footages of hospital evacuation in lower Manhattan on Monday night evoke poignant images of horror and helplessness: New-born babies and critically ill patients being carried down 19 flights and moved to other hospitals.
Even four days after the wrath of Sandy, the authorities are struggling to get the city back to normal.
It was ridiculous when Congressman Michael Clendenin told CNN anchor Piers Morgan that “there wasn’t much to do”. If politicians come out with such an irresponsible statement at this hour of crisis and when the city is undergoing harrowing experience, it is deplorable and shocking.
Is it climate change that caused the devastation? Is it global warming which scientists have been talking about for years?
It’s time the authorities did serious thinking for implementation of clean energy. It is time we did everything possible to ensure that individual carbon emissions are cut down to zero.
Each one of us is responsible for global warming. Each one of us should make a choice to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive. We can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero.
Scientists have cautioned against the rising sea levels over the years. Former vice president Al Gore in his Inconvenient Truth said a major ice sheet had collapsed in Greenland or in West Antarctica and which could raise global sea levels by approximately 20 feet, flooding coastal areas and producing 100 million refugees.
If appropriate actions are taken soon, the effects of global warming can be reversed by releasing less CO2 and planting trees to consume existing CO2.
The politicians take a slightly different stance on the issue, of course. New York State governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Anyone who says that there’s not a dramatic change in weather patterns I think is denying reality…We have a 100-year flood every two years now.”
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a more cautious stance: “What is clear is that the storms that we’ve experienced in the last year or so, around this country and around the world, are much more severe than before. Whether that’s global warming or what, I don’t know. But we’ll have to address those issues.”
The solution is in our hands. We just have to have the determination to make it happen. We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions.
What we lack is political will.