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Sandy exposes ‘senseless’ climate position of US candidates

Written by Tom Mitchell

As Hurricane Sandy parks climate change issues firmly on the lawn of the White House a leading global expert has slammed the ‘senseless’ position of both US presidential candidates. Dr Tom Mitchell of the London-based ODI think-tank is pointing to the evidence of public opinion and science to call on the candidates to stop ‘confounding logic’ and take more seriously the significant economic, social and political costs of inaction unless they want to be responsible for a ‘slow motion robbery’ of the future.

In a blog published today he explains that that 70% of Americans believe that the climate is changing; the latest scientific estimate is that the mid-west drought was made 20 times more likely by climate change and that insurers face a bill of $12-16 billion dollars as a result of Hurricane Sandy – equivalent to the cost of the London Olympics.

Dr Mitchell, Head of Climate Change at the ODI and joint-author of the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change report into extreme weather said:

“We’ve seen little or no mention of climate change in the US presidential debates to date and that which we have seen has focused on the need to keep drilling. Hurricane Sandy provides stark cause for a re-think.

A serious look at the science reveals that the chances are hurricanes are going to hit the east coast more regularly and cause more flooding when they do. Hurricanes Irene and Sandy could well be just the beginning.

The US position on climate change is senseless. It’s time for them to stop confounding logic and start showing some leadership on these issues. Continuing to focus on fossil fuels and ducking the global challenge amounts to a slow-motion robbery of the future."

Dr Tom Mitchell is available for interview. Contact Jonathan Tanner on +44(0)7808791265 to arrange.