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Superstorm Sandy: the aftermath and what's next in the climate change debate?

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As New York City and the East coast of the US and Canada waited for Superstorm Sandy to hit last night we couldn't help to conjure images from disaster movies such as The Day After Tomorrow and (the rather aptly named) 2012.

Fast-forward 24 hours and Sandy (again a film springs to mind, but this time it's John Travolta looking all smug while trying to woo Olivia Newton-John in Grease), and we're now beginning to see how the city and its people fared.

Images and stories were shared on social networks in real-time, and Sandy's not been the nicest: at least 18 were killed, 7.5 million have been left without power across the eastern coast, buildings have been destroyed and the NYC subway tunnels have been drowned by sea water.

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said: "Damage across the city is clearly extensive and won't be fixed over night."


It is almost like Bane has been let loose in Gotham City again, but this time it was something even The Dark Knight couldn't have fought off. This was Mother Nature on speed.

This wasn't an act of God, nor was Sandy solely down to climate change - hurricanes and stormy weather come and go each year - but this story on The Guardian raises the point that so many will have thought over the past hours: Was Hurricane Sandy supersized by of climate change?

While Twitter is happily sharing funny photoshopped images of the storm and Lady Liberty hiding, the world is indeed changing and our actions have been part of making these superstorms. And we're likely to see more of them in the years to come.

The ocean temperatures are rising and polar ice melting. This is fact, not fiction. On average the September ocean temperatures were the second highest on record, only surpassed by 2003 - both, which in the grand scheme of things, happened very recently. How can we say our actions and pollution have nothing to do with this?

Science and statistics cannot be completely wrong. It is time we all start to listen to what they are telling us. Like all living creatures before us we must adapt in order to survive.

But one positive thing in all the devastation: The world did not end in 2012... so far.

Images: Press Association

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