Post Hurricane Post 3: On Climate Change and Voting

At the same time it seems likes there is both nothing left to say about the hurricane and too much left to say. Tomorrow I will go back into Manhattan for the first time in 10 days, (some) kids will be back in school. But life isn’t really returning to normal. And even though it kind of feel like it is for some people, and even though this new state of shell shock kind of feels has become familiar.

So while I’m in a strange mixed place of at a lost/too many words to say, there are two more issues that are tied to this storm that I have to kind of get off my chest.

Climate Change
Was global warming responsible for this hurricane? Quite possibly, but even if it wasn’t, it’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that we’ve had two hurricanes in the last year here, a huge blizzard two years ago, followed by a winter with 50 degree weather and no snow at all (except for a snow storm in October), and more and more extreme weather events all over the world.

Pretending that there’s no such thing as climate change when there’s melting ice caps, and flooded cities isn’t going to make it go away and while some people *cough* Republicans *cough* can claim that the way to create jobs is to lift environmental regulations, it should be clear to EVERYONE that we can’t just keep doing things the way we have and then act surprised when things keep getting worse.

Which of course brings me to Obama and Romney. Bloomberg quite famously endorsed Obama last week in the wake of Sandy, basically because while Obama hasn’t done as much as many argue that he should, but really people, this one is a no brainer–your man Mitt, is quite literally ignoring the giant elephant in the room–when he gave his lip service to helping the hurricane victims at a rally and a man in the audience said “what about climate change?” he was booed, and drowned out with “U-S-A” chants.

I doubt those same people would be chanting “USA” when everything they own is swept away and FEMA lacks the funds to help them, because Romney’s decided helping people put their lives back together isn’t the government’s job.

Here’s what Bloomberg said: “Our climate is changing.  And 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 it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

All of which ties in to the next thing that’s really been bothering me:

Voting

The election is on Tuesday, and it would take a (not going to happen, hasn’t even been proposed) act of congress to move the election. But as much as everyone (myself included) is ready for this election to just be over already, I think that it should be postponed until next month. There are likely hundreds of thousands of people who would have voted who will not be voting on Tuesday–they either won’t be able to find their polling place because it’s been moved or doesn’t have power , or they will have bigger problems like having no home or power themselves.

Sure, you could argue that New York and New Jersey are solidly blue states anyway, so it’s fine that less people will be able to vote, but that’s kind of not the point of a democracy.  It’s fairly obvious who I’m not voting for on Tuesday (and yes I’ve confirmed that my polling place is still high, dry, and operational), but it’s not about who I think should and shouldn’t win (that’s a whole other loooong blog post).

The entire point of allowing every single citizen the right to vote once they are 18 is that they are actually able to vote. This is a right people fought for, and now two days before the election no one is fighting for the fact that a storm has essentially taken that right away from many people.

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