Katrina passed without a serious discussion about climate change. That tragedy parallels the damage caused by the superstorm itself. We squandered a serious opportunity to engage the country in a real discussion about an problem that's going to impact not just Americans living on coastlines but all inhabitants of Earth for generations to come.
After Katrina, TV programmers quickly pivoted from an honest exploration of causes to a carefully crafted, highly politicized blame game. The controllers of information who write scripts and prepare debriefings launched one diversion after another.
It was Brownie's fault. It was the mayors fault. It was Bushes fault. It wasn't climate change and it wasn't our fault as fossil-fuel dependent motorists and furnace burning homeowners and it certainly had nothing to do with Exxon Valdez or BP.
It's happening again with Sandy.
While the rains have poured down and the floods have returned, a desperately needed conversation has been swept up in the current of media frenzy, drowned out and gone missing once again.
The script is all too predictable.
You can almost guarantee the public won't hear a single major pundit on the TeeVee ask Governor Christie about his stance on climate change and the role played by mankind, about the way Christie first approached the topic as a skeptic and when after schooled by climate scientists, transformed into a true believer.
Somehow a fascinating if not ironic substory to Sandy failed to surface in the briefing room, eluding journalists who review potential questions to ask, angles to take and issues to raise.
But to be certain, Governor Christie did talk to climate scientists who did educate and influence him to rethink his misguided views.
So it's not as if a news lead does not exist for a good story. It does, as do a cache of follow up questions that can help educate the public and bring us closer to solutions.
Who did you talk to, Governor?
What did they teach you?
What did you learn?
Despite the fact this storm could open the perfect gateway to a real conversation about perhaps the most important issue of our time, that door has been slammed shut preemptively.
Although Christie's transformation might make the perfect subplot for this long overdue discussion, the media remains oblivious to it.
Well, here it is, MSM, a timely back story ripe for the taking about your preciously plump new controversial character saturating all the headlines.
From NJ.com 2 years ago.
TRENTON — Gov. Chris Christie says he's skeptical that humans are responsible for global warming.http://www.nj.com/...
The governor, a new darling of the Republican Party, made the remark at a town hall meeting he hosted in Toms River Tuesday afternoon.
Asked by a man attending the event whether he thought mankind was responsible for global warming, Christie says he's seen evidence on both sides of the argument but thinks it hasn't been proven one way or another.
Christie says "more science" is needed to convince him.
Christie remained a skeptic on climate change until much more recently. He was influenced by climate change experts who gave him the science he was looking for.
TRENTON — In case anyone had any doubts on where Gov. Chris Christie stands on climate change, he made his position crystal clear this afternoon: It's real and it's a problem.http://www.nj.com/...
In vetoing a bill (S2946) that would have required New Jersey to stay in a regional program intended to curb greenhouse gases — a program Christie plans to leave by the end of the year — the governor said "climate change is real."
He added that "human activity plays a role in these changes" and that climate change is "impacting our state."
Christie's words are his strongest to date in regards to climate change, a hot-button issue among the same conservatives nationwide who are clamoring for the governor to enter the 2012 presidential race.
Christie's come full circle on the issue. Last year, he told a town hall audience in Toms River he was skeptical climate change is the result of human activity. He backed off those comments at a conference of environmentalists in May and agreed to meet with climate scientists for a lesson in global warming.
Later that month, during a news conference announcing he would pull the state out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a 10-state partnership intended to curb power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, Christie took another step.
"I can’t claim to fully understand all of this," he said. "Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts."
He added that climate science is complex and "we know enough to know that we are at least part of the problem."
Wow, huh? A lot can change after just two years.
What about after one storm like Sandy, Mr. Governor? How do you feel about what humankind is doing to the planet now?
Do you have all the science you ever needed now that a manmade storm has drenched your back yard and wreaked havoc on your home state leaving millions without power many dead or injured, homeless and thousands stranded awaiting rescue?
Has Sandy crystallized your views on climate change and isn't it about time we start to work together in a bipartisan way towards solutions?
Why won't you talk about Climate change on MSNBC and Fox News? Why don't you get this out there while everyone is paying attention?
No. Instead we get questions about partisan Presidential politics. "How is President Obama doing, Governor Christie?" and "Does Mitt get to go on a tour with you of storm damage?"
And Dailykos has fallen for it so far, we who are supposed to shatter the framing and stay ahead of the news sit here stripped of vision, dumbed down into unnecessary reaction and overreaction to Christie's bipartisanship, the stage slid beneath his feet by sheep members of the press.
If we can't talk about climate change in the aftermath of a man-made monster 1000 miles wide, when can we?