Magazine article The Spectator

Developing Storm

Magazine article The Spectator

Developing Storm

Article excerpt

It did not take long for the green lobby to blame this week's devastation of New York and America's east coast on manmade global warming. Climate scientists blamed Hurricane Sandy on rising temperatures and melting ice. They hardly needed to, since images of water lapping in the stairways of subway stations, which could have been taken from The Day After Tomorrow, play on apocalyptic fears that industrial civilisation is a sitting target for disaster of its own making. If you didn't believe the need for an urgent reassessment of western lifestyles before last Tuesday, then surely you must do now.

Yet the lessons of last week's storm are the opposite. Grim though the results have been, the resilience of US society has been there for all to see. Like other rich countries, America has emergency plans to deal with this sort of disaster. Technology allowed the path of the storm to be predicted, which together with modern communications allowed the rapid evacuation of vulnerable areas. …

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