#Frankenstorm and the Way We Talk About Climate Change

Andrew Revkin, in his Dot Earth blog for the New York Times, has been writing a lot over the past few days about the relation of global warming/climate change to the ferocious late-season appearance of #Frankenstorm Sandy, which flooded lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, tore up the Jersey shore, killed some 40 people in the US and left more than 7 million on the East Coast with no power for several days (not to mention the overlooked damage it wrought in the Caribbean before smashing into Delaware on Sunday). Many of his readers (including climate activist Dan Miller) accuse Revkin (who is a science journalist and not a professional scientist) of taking too cautious a tack on climate change generally and on human responsibility for the increase of North Atlantic storm activity in particular. Continue reading

#Irene Storm Over Rikers Island: Some Mitigating Facts

I was pleased this afternoon to see that the questions I posted here last night about where Rikers Island  fit into New York City’s evacuation scheme for Hurricane Irene were being asked all over Twitter and the blogosphere. I knew something was up when I saw the metrics on that post take an immediate spike, in both visits and referrals from Google. Clearly a lot of people were not writing off the Rikers residents even if the mayor and the city’s disaster planners were not going out of their way to include them in the discussion. Continue reading