New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo chimed in early and often, offering Sandy as evidence “that climate change is reality.” Bloomberg Businessweek, ever a sucker for an arresting image, shouted “It’s Global Warming, Stupid,” from the cover of this week’s issue. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a more measured approach—”If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable”—but nonetheless, invoked this week’s storm and underlined climate change in explaining his endorsement of President Barack Obama for reelection.
Meanwhile, estimates for the insured costs of the storm climbed as high as $20 billion, and we thought it would be worth hearing what the insurance industry had to say. After all, if the waters rise, the coastlines erode and changing weather patterns increase the frequency of tropical storms, insurance companies are going to incur large costs making good on property loss.
But when The Observer called the experts who build the sophisticated models that the insurance industry uses to assess risk, they told us that global warning wasn’t the first factor responsible for the damage caused by Sandy and other recent storms. Instead, it’s where we’ve built our homes. Read More