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EDITORIAL: Sandy is proof of global warming

EDITORIAL: Sandy is proof of global warming

Fri, November 02, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Huurricane Sandy, which ploughed its way through the United States this past week, is not a matter to be taken lightly since nature has now delivered its clearest warning that global warming is a phenomenon that matters, and that those who think otherwise are wrong.

The care and protection of the environment is therefore the present responsibility of all of us who occupy this planet, and we must all recognize that we hold it in trust for future generations, and not for ourselves only.

The warnings of the forecasters, environmental scientists and others who follow the course of these aspects of our physical geography were eerily accurate.

We can identify with the sufferings of our American brothers and sisters since we too have often experienced the wrenching dislocation caused by hurricanes, and we wish our northern friends well as they put their lives back together.

Yet once again the value of insurance comes to mind, and it is clear that Hurricane Sandy delivered heavy and telling blows of a most grievous kind.

The problem may have been aggravated by the oncoming winter season, but clear leadership by President Barack Obama and Governor Chris Christie, in particular, and the several other governors and mayors of both political sides has mitigated the hardship and temporary deprivation and has opened a door to what can happen when public figures shed the cloak of partisanship and operate in the major public interest.

To hear Republican Governor Christie of New Jersey praise the president for this hands-on commitment and assistance in cutting through the red tape and getting assistance to the people of New Jersey, even though Mr Christie himself as a key note speaker at the Republican National convention recently sought to persuade voters to throw out Mr Obama, is to observe what we often refer to as “two big” men joining forces to assist the public.

It was a heart-warming testament to the value of integrity in true public service and is a clarion call to all politicians everywhere that public service is the highest form of service and that in times of national emergency, service to the public often means putting the public first above private convenience.

Another very important lesson of the Sandy emergency is that such public emergency response agencies must be properly funded, and that people must be properly trained in advance of such disastrous events to cope with emergencies. A crisis situation is neither the time nor place to conduct such training.

The public interest demands that money be properly utilized in training and in the provision of emergency supplies; for such forward planning often results in lives saved, and can in many instances make the difference in containing the degree of  loss and damage which may naturally follow from emergencies, however caused.

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