The Americans are one of the last developed countries in the world where a stunningly large portion of the population still believe that global warming and climate change are myths perpetrated by left-wing liberals hell-bent on sending the country back to the dark ages.
But two major storms in the last few months could very well put a dent in the naysayers’ faith, at least one can hope. One can understand countries like China pooh-poohing environmentalists’ concerns, because let’s face it, they won’t give a fig until the tipping point has passed, but the US is another matter altogether.
Watching footage of snow blanketing most of Northern US, and watching superstorm Sandy sweep through New Jersey was chilling to say the least, and we’re living on the other end of the world, imaging the fear of those living in the proverbial eye of the storm. Senator Barack Obama long-channelled a green vision, but President Barack Obama has found battling the ‘warming’ sceptics a very tough task indeed. So much so that his sweeping green vision for the US has fizzled to a trickle of progress.
The latest storm has come a little over three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated swaths of New York and New Jersey, killing 132 people and causing damage worth some $71.4 billion. Already the blizzard has left more than 650,000 homes without electricity, including around 400,000 in Massachusetts, 187,000 in Rhode Island, and 35,000 in Connecticut.
According to reports, utility companies in Connecticut said they were planning for up to 30 per cent of their customers, or more than 400,000 homes, to eventually lose power.
Whatever happens next, Americans cannot continue to deny that the global climate is changing for the worse and the damage is overwhelmingly man-made. Rather than sticking their heads in the sand what the largest economy in the world needs to do is band together to fight what could very soon devolve into an existential crisis. Better late than never, but time’s running out.