By James Fallows
Big picture: Solidarity and support to people in New Jersey, New York, and other places that took the brunt of the storm.
Bigger picture: Of course no one can prove that this storm was "caused by" climate change and global warming. But the increasingly frequent occurrence of "unusual", "extreme", and "once per century" weather events — heat, cold, drought, flood — is in keeping with all warnings about the effects of climate change (as explained here). I'm not arguing the entire climate change case now, and don't have special standing to do so anyway. I am saying that this reminds me of the mounting evidence about smoking and health, when I was a kid — the medical conventions my father went to in the early 1960s were full of smokers, those a decade later had practically no smokers — or about environmentalism generally in the "Silent Spring" era. Denialism continues, until all of a sudden it is irrelevant.
Local picture: Surprisingly, and all appropriate thanks to Pepco, we've still had power in our neighborhood (and, I gather, much of the greater DC area). Each of the past three big storms brought outages of four to five days. For the past 24+ hours in our neighborhood there has been no landline phone service, no TV (via cable), no Internet. This is on a shaky cell phone hotspot. These two shots, on either side of our house today, probably hint at the problem. I thought the vulnerable trees had all been knocked down in the past three storms, but I was wrong. Amazing they didn't hit the power lines. Back in touch in a day or so.
I realise this is nothing compared with what people farther north are going through. Just adding to the documentation.
This post was originally published at The Atlantic
31 October 2012