Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso
Chapter 7: Vulnerability does not just fall from the sky: toward multi-scale pro-poor climate policy
Sea level off of New York has risen 20 centimeters this century and when Sandy struck the US East Coast in October 2012 it wreaked expectable but unexpected havoc. Sandy showed that under a changing climate the rich could lose their houses and the poor their lives and livelihoods. Sandy brought global climate change home in a way that the remaining deniers just look stupid and the believers look complacent. It put the state in gear defending past actions – dune and seawall construction, tunnel flood gates – and proposing aid to facilitate recovery. Few are asking why God did this. President Obama did not proclaim “but for the grace of God, there we go”, as he had for the 2010 Haiti quake (Wood, New York Times, 23 January 2010). Sandy was also not seen as natural. People are viewing Sandy as an anthropogenic superstorm (Kaplan, New York Times, 3 December 2012). People are asking “who did what when” and “why did this happen” People seek to understand cause of risk, its failure to be regulated, and then to attribute blame (Lipton and Moss, New York Times, 10 December 2012; Preston, Fink and Powell, New York Times, 3 December 2012).
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