Were Sandy's Winds Strong Enough to Propel Green Ballot Measures?

With the aftermath of Sandy fresh on voters' minds, and the debate about the causes and effects of climate change seemingly reinvigorated, Grist examines whether those forces translated into support for green initiatives across the country.

It's probably a sad reflection of the state of America's political discourse around climate change that mere mention of "the destructive power of a warming planet" in President Obama's victory address last night is enough to warm the hearts of those who believe action must be taken to fight its causes and mitigate its effects. But many are hoping one positive outcome of the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy is a re-energized debate about climate change and adaptation.

So, did the winds of Sandy help drive support for "green ballot measures" during yesterday's elections? The results seem to be mixed, reports Lisa Hymas. Voters in Michigan rejected "the most important clean-energy vote" of the election. And, while it may be a stretch to tie Sandy to local elections hundreds and thousands of miles away from the effected areas, it appears that at least one contest may have gotten a boost from the storm. "With images of severe storm and flood damage from the East Coast fresh in many voters' minds, Seattle residents overwhelmingly approved a $290 million, 30-year bond measure to reconstruct the aging Elliott Bay seawall," The Seattle Times reported.

Full Story: Beyond Obama: Here are green ballot measures that won and lost

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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Climate Change: A Nation Divided?

Lisa Hymas wrote, "Don’t expect strong, or even tepid, climate legislation in the next two years. Congress will remain divided and intransigent..."

I would go further. The people remain divided on climate change - just listen to the chilling reaction (on You-Tube) by the crowd to a climate protestor at a Romney rally - ironically, Romney was asking attendees to help Sandy's victims.

The video is included in this Grist article, aptly enough also written by Lisa Hymas, "Watch Romney grin awkwardly as his audience shouts down climate activist"

The incredible 'USA' chants are matched by Romney's grin, and then he continues to ask for the "nation to come together" rather than using the moment to speak to the crowd about climate change, extreme weather, and Sandy's devastation. I could only wonder if a transformed Gov. Chris Christie would have done so - I suspect he would have....
Irvin Dawid

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