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Which Political Leader Will Deal with "Weather on Steroids?"

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Politics and Democracy page.

This week climate change went from political taboo to lead endorsement criteria for at least one elected official-New York City's Mayor Bloomberg, who endorsed Barack Obama in a BloombergView entitled "A Vote for a President to Lead on Climate Change."

In his editorial, Bloomberg wrote that, "Our climate is changing. And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be -- given this week's devastation -- should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action."

In the face of a genuine human, societal, and economic catastrophe, President Obama, Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie, and Bloomberg-all the front line public officials responsible for witnessing and addressing the full impact of Hurricane Sandy, have in different ways stepped beyond their comfort zones. The devastating impacts and enormous costs have forced these political leaders to recognize that for proper management and planning, politicians can no longer afford to dance around the climate change issue fearing to call a spade a spade in deference to the sensibilities of climate deniers and those who fund them.

Now the question is: Will any of these elected officials truly step up to become a leader in the New Green Growth Economy? And if they did, what might that look like?

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo launched the Solutions Project nearly a year ago and has been working with Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering, to plan a conversion to renewable energy.


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