Climate change-What climate change

SUBHEAD: The unprecedented Frankenstorm Sandy leaves death, dampness and darkness in its wake.

By Editorial Staff on 29 October 2012 for Charleston Gazette -
(http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/Editorials/201210290222)


Image above: Homes that are devastated by fire and the effects of Hurricane Sandy are seen at the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York October 30, 2012. From article below on storm update.

A Charleston church group recently heard a slide lecture on billion-dollar weather damage and mass human suffering caused by global warming, worsened by air pollution. The grim show came from the Climate Reality Project headed by former Vice President Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his warnings.

The lecture is apt today as Hurricane Sandy, the "Frankenstorm," ravages the populous East Coast. Hurricanes, caused by ocean heat, have become stronger, deadlier, more costly. Sandy spans nearly 2,000 miles across its cloud swirl, almost the distance from Charleston to California.
More Frankenstorms and other weather horrors can be expected, the Gore group says. It warns:
  • Tornados have become worse menaces, obliterating some cities such as Joplin, Missouri.
  • Floods and mudslides from monster rains ravage Third World cities. Mississippi Valley floods also have become more destructive.
  • Droughts are turning some agriculture regions into worthless desert, bankrupting farmers and elevating food prices.
  • Wildfires have consumed vast sections of western forest and suburban neighborhoods.
  • Tropical diseases and parasites keep moving northward.
  • Record-breaking heat waves kill thousands of people around the world.

Image above: This CCTV photo released by the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey shows flood waters from Hurricane Sandy rushing in to the Hoboken PATH station through an elevator shaft on October 29, 2012. From article below on storm update. 

Much of this mayhem stems from the fact that warmer air holds more moisture, causing more violent storms. Oddly, cloudburst rains in one sector can mean drought in another. Only a slight temperature increase can produce "weather on steroids," one expert dubbed it.  Ph.D. meteorologist Jeff Masters said:
"Look at heat waves, drought and flooding events. They all tend to get increased when you have this extra energy in the atmosphere. I call it being on steroids for the atmosphere."
Gore himself says "dirty weather" stems from "dirty air." He adds: "Ferocious storms and deadly heat waves are occurring with alarming frequency all over the world. We are living with the reality of the climate crisis every day."

His associate, Maggie Fox, adds:
"Fossil fuel companies and their allies will go to great lengths to deny the fact that climate change is happening now. But we have one powerful response: Reality."
Insurers suffer growing losses. A giant reinsurance firm, Munich Re, warned: "Nowhere in the world is the rising number of natural catastrophes more evident than in North America." Travelers issued a brochure saying U.S. thunderstorms caused $25 billion damage last year.

West Virginia politicians and coal moguls won't acknowledge that air pollution from fossil fuels creates a "greenhouse" layer in the sky that traps heat on Earth's surface and causes "weather on steroids." But snowballing evidence indicates that this global heat-up is inflicting terrible losses on humanity. The current Frankenstorm is one further warning to consider.

Plenty of other climate-deniers exist. In his acceptance speech at the GOP convention, Mitt Romney drew laughs when he sneered: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet." We wonder if those delegates still are snickering today.


Sample of Live Frankenstorm Updates

By Staff on 30 October 30 2012 for  Russian Times-
(http://rt.com/usa/news/frankenstorm-sandy-live-updates-451/)

Oct. 30, 15:01 EDT: US President Barack Obama will travel to storm-stricken New Jersey on Wednesday to view damage, thank first responders.

Oct. 30, 14:32 EDT: Schools in the US capital will re-open on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.

Oct. 30, 14:06 EDT: US death toll jumps to 38. More than 8.2 million people across the eastern US are without power.
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Oct. 30, 13:21 EDT: Alert remains in place at the Oyster Creek nuclear plant in New Jersey.

Oct. 30, 12:55 EDT: New York Stock Exchange will reopen Wednesday after being shut down for 2 days.

Oct. 30, 12:24 EDT: The Associated Press reports that death toll from hurricane Sandy has climbed to 33; many of the victims killed by falling trees.

Oct. 30, 11:37 EDT: New York mayor's office confirms all bridges over the East River have been opened. That includes Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Ed Koch Queensboro (59th Street) bridges.

Oct. 30, 11:14 EDT: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says at least 10 people died in NYC as result of storm.

Oct. 30, 11:07 EDT: 750,000 New Yorkers remain without power, Mayor Bloomberg tells reporters. All public transport remains closed until further notice.

Oct. 30, 11:04 EDT: New York City Mayor Bloomberg says Metro Trasport Authority CEO told him Sandy is the worst natural disaster in the subway's 108-year history.

Oct. 30, 10:55 EDT: All three airports serving the New York City area – JFK, LaGuardia and Newark – remain closed. Airports in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC are open.

Oct. 30, 10:39 EDT: New Jersey Governor Christie says 2.4 million households have been affected by Sandy – twice the number from Hurricane Irene in 2011; over 5,000 people have been placed in shelters.

Oct. 30, 10:36 EDT: New Jersey Governor Christie: "The devastation is unprecedented – like nothing we've ever seen reported before."

Oct. 30, 10:23 EDT: NJ Governor Christie said the state of NJ is working with the Salvation Army and Red Cross to bring in mobile kitchens. He also said the state is utilizing FEMA food and water resources.
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Oct. 30, 10:21 EDT: In a press conference, NJ Governor Chris Christie said there is major damage on each and every one of New Jersey's rail lines.

Oct. 30, 09:54 EDT: MTA chairman says New Yorkers should expect mass transit to return “in pieces and parts” in the days to come.

Oct. 30, 09:51 EDT: Sewage is flowing into the main stem of the Little Patuxent River in Savage, Maryland at a rate of 2 million gallons per hour. Officials say a power outage at a water treatment plant is to blame.

Oct. 30, 09:37 EDT: NYC metro, rail, and bus service to resume on limited schedule (Sunday service) at 2pm EDT.

Oct. 30, 09:22 EDT: Officials say the fire in the Breezy Point section of the Rockaway peninsula in Queens involves 80 to 100 homes. A fire department spokesman says nearly 200 firefighters are currently at the scene.

Oct. 30, 09:15 EDT: MTA chairman says all seven subway tunnels that connect Manhattan to Brooklyn & Queens are flooded.

Oct. 30, 08:51 EDT: At least 5,751 flights have been canceled in North America for Tuesday, around 15,500 flights have been affected by the storm.
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Oct. 30, 08:23 EDT: Since midnight, 911 has received 8,362 calls. 4,807 calls are waiting to be answered.

Oct. 30, 08:03 EDT: The Red Cross reported that nearly 11,000 people spent Monday night in its shelters across 16 states.
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Oct. 30, 07:55 EDT: Power company Con Edison is reporting 684,000 customers without power in the New York City area.

Oct. 30, 06:40 EDT: Damage costs estimates to exceed $20 billion in US alone.

Oct. 30, 06:04 EDT: Post-Sandy forecast predicts five days of rain, according to National Weather Service.

Oct. 30, 05:59 EDT: Total of 83 people killed by hurricane Sandy: 15 in US, 1 in Canada, and 67 in the Caribbean.

Oct. 30, 05:53 EDT: Authorities in Bergen County, New Jersey, are evacuating residences after the storm broke a levee and flooded several communities with up to 5 feet (1.5m) of water.

Oct. 30, 05:44 EDT: President Obama declared hurricane Sandy “major disaster” in New York.

Oct. 30, 05:20 EDT: Sandy death toll rises to 16 people in US.

Oct. 30, 04:11 EDT: At least 50 homes were completely destroyed in Breezy Point fire, NY.

Oct. 30, 03:59 EDT: Fire engulfs 15 houses in Breezy Point, Queens, NY, as 170 firefighters are on scene battling the blaze.

Oct. 30, 03:53 EDT: At least 13 people have been killed across the US and Canada in storm-related incidents as Sandy continues to devastate the East Coast.

Oct. 30, 03:52 EDT: 6.5 million of people remain without power across the US as the result of hurricane Sandy.

Oct. 30, 03:40 EDT: New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority stated this is worst disaster in the history of the NYC subway system.

Oct. 30, 02:29 EDT: It could take up to four days to get the water out of the flooded NY subway tunnels, according to Metro Transit Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz.
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Oct. 30, 02:26 EDT: Woman has died after being rescued in the Atlantic along with 14 other crewmembers having abandoned HMS Bounty ship in rough Sandy weather, US Coast guard reported.

Oct. 30, 02:26 EDT: Seven New York subway tunnels have been flooded as a result of Sandy.

Oct. 30, 02:22 EDT: 6.5 million people are now without power across the US because of Sandy.

Oct. 30, 02:10 EDT: Sandy is estimated to cost insurers somewhere between $5-10 billion, Wall Street Journal reports.

Oct. 30, 01:51 EDT: Post-tropical storm Sandy is now located just south of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Oct. 30, 01:31 EDT: Reports of major fire in the Rockaway Park area of Queens, New York.

Oct. 30, 00:35 EDT: Sandy death toll reaches 13 nationwide.

Oct. 30, 00:19 EDT: 5.8 million people left without power nationwide from Sandy as of midnight.

Oct. 30, 00:05 EDT: Dozens of ambulances are evacuating NYU hospital patients to Sloan Kettering and Mt. Sinai hospitals due to a generator failure.

Oct. 30, ­00:01 EDT: Power has been lost at the New York University Hospital in Lower Manhattan. Mayor Bloomberg says the city will now start evacuating people from the facility.
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Oct. 29, 23:53 EDT : Up to 14 inches of snow reported in Tucker County, West Virginia – Weather Channel.

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Oct. 29, 23:41 EDT: More than 1.5 million people in New York State are without power, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo tweeted.

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Oct. 29, 23:11 EDT: As the storm pounds the East Coast, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission has declared an "Alert" at a power plant in Oyster Creek, New Jersey. “The plant, currently in a regularly scheduled outage, declared the Alert at approximately 8:45 p.m. EDT due to water exceeding certain high water level criteria in the plant’s water intake structure,” the agency said in a statement.

Oct. 29, 23:00 EDT: 911 is receiving 10,000 calls per half hour, NYC Mayor’s Office reports.
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Oct. 29, 22:55 EDT: The main building of Brooklyn's Coney Island Hospital is on fire, local news blog Sheepshead Bites reports. Emergency services cannot reach the site, as the streets surrounding the hospital are flooded.

Oct. 29, 22:26 EDT: At least 10 people have been killed by the disaster, according to AP. Casualties were reported in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
One woman has been killed by a falling sign in Toronto as high winds reached Canada.

Oct. 29, 22:20 EDT: Reports of flooding from Sandy in PATH train stations in Hoboken and Jersey City along the Hudson River.

Oct. 29, 22:19 EDT: The National Weather Service confirms that high tide has passed in New York City, and water should begin receding from Lower Manhattan.
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Oct. 29, 22:05 EDT: A New York Stock Exchange official has told ABC News that prior reports of flooding on the exchange's floor off Wall Street in Lower Manhattan are "egregiously false."
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Oct. 29, 22:00 EDT: The death toll in New York City due to Sandy has now reached five.
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Oct. 29, 21:40 EDT: At least one man has been killed after a tree fell on his house in the Queens section of New York City.

Oct. 29, 20:47 EDT: An explosion took place at a Con Edison power station in Manhattan, New York.
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Oct. 29, 20:45 EDT: Social networks users on Manhattan's Lower East Side are reporting a "huge explosion" that preceded power going out.

Oct. 29, 20:35 EDT: Power has gone out in much of Lower Manhattan, though it has not been confirmed whether it was an outage or an intentional shutdown by Consolidated Edison.

Oct. 29, 20:30 EDT: ­The Statue of Liberty's torch has gone out. It was followed by flickering lights across Lower Manhattan, and what appeared to be two explosions in the sky over New Jersey, close to New York City.

Oct. 29, 20:14 EDT: ­The center of superstorm Sandy has reached the US state of New Jersey, the National Hurricane Center says.

Oct. 29, 20:00 EDT: ­
In Manhattan's East Village district, streets two blocks in from the East River are under roughly two feet of water, according to pictures circulating on Twitter.

Oct. 29, 19:54 EDT: ­NYC's Robert F. Kennedy Bridge has been shut down due to winds exceeding 100 mph, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports.

Oct. 29, 19:51 EDT: NYC's utilities provider, Consolidated Edison, cuts power to part of lower Manhattan to avoid storm damage.

Oct. 29, 19:42 EDT: ­The storm caused a fa├žade of an entire building to collapse in Manhattan’s Chelsea district.

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