Hurricane Sandy has brought to light a serious, but somewhat sidelined, concern: climate change. Last week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially endorsed President Obama. The conversation surrounding Bloomberg’s endorsement of Obama focuses on climate change, an issue with which Bloomberg has been extensively involved.
Bloomberg has criticized both the president and challenger Mitt Romney for their failure to candidly confront the nation’s ills. Despite such criticism, Bloomberg has offered his support to Obama given his response to the Emergency Sandy created for his municipality and constituents.
Bloomberg also used Sandy as an opportunity to highlight the need for a discussion surrounding climate change.
In an editorial, Bloomberg writes:
“…while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of [climate change], the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
While Bloomberg may be making a last attempt to impress a legacy upon his three-term as mayor, there is no doubt Sandy’s monstrosity has called into question the lack of time candidate’s have spent talking about climate change. Indeed, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that more intense hurricanes are possible because of warmer weather due to climate change.
Bloomberg has been a long time proponent of climate change awareness, and, in making his endorsement, highlighted Obama’s achievements on the issue. His endorsement clearly marks his hope that, if reelected, the president will continue to champion and prioritize climate change.
Interestingly, in that same editorial from November 1, Bloomberg notes Mitt Romney’s achievements on climate change when he served as governor of Massachusetts. However, Bloomberg cautioned,
“He couldn’t have been more right [about needing to reduce carbon emissions]. But since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.”
President Obama said that he is “honored to have Mayor Bloomberg’s endorsement,” and committed himself and the country to stand by New York in its time of need.