Civil Discourse Now

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Response to a hurricane should be directed by the same authority as conducts a war: Federal.

   Hurricane Sandy batters the East coast as I write. Bloomberg reports estimates of damage from the storm at $20 billion. Approximately $5 to $10 billion of those damages are insured.

   1) This storm is consistent with arguments for human contributions to global climate change. Why are the "left-wing" mainstream media not focused on this manifestation of a theory much bally-hooed by the Republican Party and its crowd? If the media really were "left-wing," they would be all over the topic. They would show recent episodes from the History Channel about world climate change and human contributions to the change. Unfortunately, the History Channel features a lot of so-called reality shows. (One could argue that is history, but here I mean "Pawn Stars," its more specific spin-off "Cajun Pawn Stars," "Counting Cars," "American Restoration," etc.) Instead there were a lot of remotes of reporters battered by wind and water who told us how bad the weather behind them was.

   2) President Obama has handled this crisis much better than his predecessor handled Hurricane Katrina. "W" spoke with reporters in what looked like an airplane hangar and gave his famous "You’ve done a heckuva job" comment to his head of FEMA. Bush’s comments were general, about how people needed to focus on the future. President Obama cut short a Florida—oops! Swing state!—campaign appearance to return to D.C. to coordinate responses to the storm.

   3) On the other hand, on MSNBC and CurrenTV (yes, Matt Stone, I still watch CurrenTV), clips were shown of former Massachusetts Governor Romney stating in primary debates that we should hand the duties (and money) for FEMA to the States. The Romney camp, yesterday, issued statements to deny Romney, as President, would disband FEMA. One projection of his budget shows a reduction of FEMA’s budget from $13 billion to just over $1 billion. For a national agency with such massive responsibilities, that is to disband.

   4) Individual states should not have FEMA’s money to handle responses to a storm, in this instance larger than any to hit the coast (according to the National Weather Service). When this country wages war—actual, declared wars should be the way in which we commit our troops, per the Constitution—we do not deploy the 11th Indiana Infantry or the 5th Virginia Artillery. We deploy the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. The Framers of the Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation with the document they put together in Philadelphia in large part because there are jobs the national government should do and can do better than the individual states. Marshaling the country’s resources to confront a disaster the size of Hurricane Sandy is just such a job. Resources and coordination are critical in these disasters.

   5) There are contractors already on the way to the East coast. A lot of the money, as much as (possibly) half, to repair the coast will come from the pockets of insurance companies. The balance probably will come from the Federal government. That means people will be employed in construction. Stores will spring up and sell goods to the people in construction. After the Chicago fire, modern-day Chicago was made possible by its reconstruction.

   6) And one last point—this storm is consistent with the theory that human beings contribute to global climate change.

   Many people have lost their homes in this storm. Lives have been lost.  If the President somehow bungles this, he should pay for his mistakes at the polls. If he does the right job, that is validation that he should occupy the office of President.

   Do we really want a President who does not believe in evolution? Romney said that during one of last spring’s debates. Of course, at other times he said he believes in evolution. Then he didn’t. Then he did.

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Comment by Paul K. Ogden on October 30, 2012 at 7:25am

Oh, my gosh, Mark, we just spent last week talking about junk science, yet you ignore the same junk science when it comes to climate change?  Of course the storm is consistent with the climate change argument. That's because EVERY weather event is consistent with the climate change as it is defined. The reason they changed "global warming" to "climate change" was because the conflicting evidence on warming was unavoidable.  Now, by calling it "climate change," everything supports the theory.

How do you disprove "climate change?"  You can't...because of course the climate is changing.  It always has been and always will.  The climate has been changing consistently for 4.5 billion years.  It's been warmer than today, even before man walked the Earth.  It's been cooler than today.  There have been times when we've had more CO2 in the atmosphere than today (again before cars).  We've had less CO2 than today.  The history of climate on this planet is that we have short term zigs and zags of the temperature that last tens of thousands of years, while long term zigs and zags of the temps last hundreds of thousands of year.  The 140 years of recorded temps on this planet is NOTHING.  It's a grain of sand on a beach.  You can't focus on those 140 years to build a climate model showing long term warming. (Which, again, is why they now call it climate change.)   They want to selectively look at temperature records to pursue a political agenda.  It's politicized science, every bit as bad as the secondhand smoke science.

I'm sure the media hasn't made a connection here because even they think it's a farfetched reach to connect a weather event like the storm to longterm global warming.

As far as those responding to the hurricane/storm, the procedure is well recognized.  The local and state officials are the "first responders" because they're the ones who live there and know best how to respond. The federal government is a second responder, providing support and resources.  Bringing in a bunch of federal people from the outset, people who don't know the area and giving local people orders on things like where to evacuate and what buildings to use for shelter, would be a very bad mistake.

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