by Alison Lueders, Great Green Editing
In the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy, Business Week’s cover says it all – “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.” It is good to see this topic make the front page, not just in mainstream media, but in the business media. Because while business, it can be argued, is part of the problem, it can also be a huge part of the solution. Solutions will come faster if the business media provide focus, information and illumination around these issues.
Floridians are affected by global warming more than most people. One of the interesting factoids from the same Business Week issue is a chart showing the top 10 natural disasters, measured in economic damage. Four of the top 10 natural disasters ever are hurricanes that hit Florida: Andrew (1992), Wilma (2005), Charley (2004) and Frances (2004). Total damages from those 4 storms combined: $92.1 billion. And that does not capture the toll in lives lost. Four out of ten – ouch.
Tampa Bay lives on the razor’s edge. What happens if a similar “perfect storm” – where several weather factors (storm intensity, storm path, high tides, etc.) combine in the worst way at the same time – arrives here? The Weather Underground has storm surge maps showing the level of inundation likely in our area. These pictures are not pretty. They should cause people to think again about where they live, how they live, what they buy, and a host of other decisions.
So to the extent that media coverage of global warming ramps up – in a fact-based, non-politicized way – that’s a win. Perhaps Sandy’s silver lining will be that more people understand what’s at stake, and decide to become part of the solution.