Hurricane Sandy reveals ignored problem

David Delgado | The Daily Cougar

Hurricane Sandy swept the east coast last week, burying extensive parts of major cities — like New York City — several feet underwater. The purported “Frankenstorm” may have given cause to scoff for many Houstonians when it reached the eastern coast at a mere Category One. The hurricane caused catastrophic amounts of damage to a place not nearly prepared for that type of weather.

The storm caused massive amounts of flooding, ruining subway lines in New York and New Jersey and — for many — ushering memories of Hurricane Katrina, which had left a further blemish on George W. Bush’s presidency.

The lines have been divided between whether the storm would affect the popular vote or not, with many taking the stand that the storm occurred too soon to the election or that the disaster and the candidates’ reactions to it would in no way accurately reflect their policies and how they would handle the country.

The cynical could take this time to point out that this storm and the relief response give the greatest opportunity for the president and the Republican nominee to smile wide and get the greatest response possible. But that denotes the actual crisis at hand with a hurricane hitting a place where it usually doesn’t.

The actions of a president — in a time of immediate crisis — is a massively important event. After witnessing a Republican presidency handle a similar situation horribly in 2005, it was a relief to see President Barack Obama act efficiently despite any campaign pressure.

The president reached across the partisan aisle, working closely with the Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, a former Republican. Hurricane-publicity aside, it became a clear demonstration of a successful reach across the party without the slightest struggle.

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Mitt Romney also took advantage of the hurricane to gain some election publicity. Campaign rallies were converted to storm relief events for the sake of a Romney photo-op. The Romney campaign bought imperishable and canned goods and put them into boxes so Romney could stand around until he had to take them outside. These were, of course, canned goods going toward the Red Cross. The Red Cross, however, did not want them and do not like people to donate towards them in this way.

Romney also took this chance to dodge questions on his position on Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency he had previously stated he wanted to cut.

Yet this storm prompts a bigger issue for the candidates that needs addressing regardless of party preference: global warming. Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest storms to hit the east coast.

Hurricanes and natural disasters have been occurring more frequently than in any other time in human history, which are indications and symptoms of global warming.

While Romney has taken a rather progressive approach than many of his fellow Republicans in acknowledging its existence, he has gone through great lengths during his campaign to indicate that he has zero interest in pursuing it, even going so far as to gawk at the president’s attempts to do so. Yet, whatever the Republican Party doesn’t believe exists is becoming an increasing problem.

Patrick Larose is a creative writing sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].


  • This “opinion’ piece is written like it belongs on the front page of the NY Times, lot’s of bias, partial facts, etc.

    It shouldn’t be shocking or considered bipartisan that the President of the U.S. worked with a Republican Gov. during an emergency. We should expect nothing less. HE IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S., not the President of only whom he “feels” isn’t his “enemy”, as he’s described the Rep’s in the past..

    Romney “Campaign storm relief…. For the sake of a Romney photo-op”. Really? Here’s a guy who is doing a noble deed, using his position to help others, and you (and most of the media) demean it into a “photo-op.” Here’s a fact for you, Romney has given to, and done more charity work than Obama and Biden combined. And no, it’s not because he’s “rich”, it’s his character. He gives ~30% to charity. Compare that to V.P. Biden, who’s also a multi-multi millionaire, charitable contributions of point three percent .3%, or a whopping $369 a year. I thought liberals and Dems were supposed to be compassionate? I guess only when it’s other peoples (taxpayers) money.

    Regarding “cutting” FEMA. Romney stated he wanted to shift disaster relief to the states and local govt’s, not eliminate federal relief funds. Who’s better to manage a disaster, the state and local govt. who know their localities, or the big massive Federal Govt? FEMA is a massive, powerful (probably one of the most in the Fed Govt.), redundant, wasteful, slow to react, bureaucracy during times of National Emergencies. Sure, they help by showering everything with planeloads of Fed $$$$’s, but they don’t actually provide the fuel, the electricity, the food, the water, the shelter. All of that is done by the private sector, not the Govt. Eliminating, or reducing one more level of bureaucracy and putting more power/control locally is more efficient.

    Lastly, the only groups who are saying Sandy was the result of climate change are those who rely on funds supporting that claim. Read what NOAA, and other reputable climatologists and meteorologists have said.

  • We can see what the younger generation has been fed. The line on human history. The problem our friend here doesn’t understand yet is that in the case of Americas and storms, reliable information that is recorded hasn’t been around for more the 150-200 years. And even then they only really account for what ships may happen to come across or what storms came ashore. Though it is an opinion piece to back up your opinion you should have real facts behind them.

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