A Hurricane of Irony
6 months ago
How Hurricane Sandy may change the outcome of the election
The views expressed in this Op-Ed do not necessarily reflect those of Loop 21.
While giving his acceptance speech during the Republican Convention, Mitt Romney stood looking out over a sea of red and white clad GOP faithful and joked that, "President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise ... is to help you and your family.”
There was an irony in that speech, because a week before, Hurricane Isaac had swept away the first day of the 2012 GOP Convention, leading organizers to squeeze events into three days. Ironically, four years earlier, Hurricane Gustav had caused John McCain’s 2008 GOP Convention in Minnesota to be cut a day short, as the Gulf Coast was battered by destructive wind and rain. And yet, this year the raucous crowd of Tea Partiers and climate change deniers cheered at Romney’s “double zinger” that stabbed both the president and those pesky climate scientists constantly sounding alarm of melting polar ice caps and rising ocean waters.
This week, less than two months after Romney's speech, the eastern seaboard of the United States was battered and torn to shreds by a Hurricane that, if not birthed by the warming waters of climate change, were most certainly exacerbated by them. After all, we’ve endured record-high temperatures across the country this year and scientists say the permafrost layers of Antarctica are decades ahead of their horrific “melt” schedule.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, the country has seen a determined President Obama walking the ruins with a weary New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The two men were joined by FEMA chief William Fugate, who has been widely praised for his preparedness and vigor in attacking this issue. We have, however, not seen much of Mitt Romney, who over the past year has generally derided federal offices like FEMA, arguing for state responsibility.