Sandy’s aftermath

Weeks ago, illustrator Jamie Hogan spotted the headline: “Mainers told to prepare for Frankenstorm” beneath a photo of Jack Sillin, an eleven-year-old from Yarmouth, Maine who writes a weather blog.  She asked on his blog if climate change was a contributor to big storms.

He replied: “Well, I think that climate change increased the number of storms this year therefore letting this storm form and survive on record warm SST’s.”

Coastal Maine braced for Sandy, but other than some rocky seas, was mostly spared.

Casco Bay Lines ferry struggles to dock during Sandy

In the aftermath of Sandy, opinion appears to have shifted regarding the legitimacy of climate change. While left out of the presidential debates, climate change has returned as a topic of public discourse.

Prior to the election, Bill McKibben, author, professor and environmental activist, promoted a Do the Math Tour with 350.org. It began November 7 on the West Coast and landed in Portland, Maine on November 13.

Bill McKibben speaks at the State Theater in Portland, Maine during his Do the Math Tour on November 13, 2012

Jamie found herself in the company of 1500 cheering on Unity College, the first in the nation to divest from fossil fuel income. Bill McKibben outlined the basics of climate change science, specifically the need to bring the carbon concentration in the atmosphere down to the sustainable level of 350 parts per million.

He says it’s beyond individual responsibility. Yes, cut back on driving, cut back on energy use. But the picture is much larger. It’s political. It’s not about this plant or that drilling. It’s about our world.

“There are no more backyards,” he said.

The impacts of climate change involve melting glaciers, acidifying oceans, rising sea levels, mosquitoes spreading, and like Sandy, more severe weather, more hurricanes, droughts, and everything more unpredictable.

We knew Sandy was coming. In her wake, where are we going?

Visit www.350.org to learn ways to participate in actions that can change the course of our planet.

This crowd in Portland, Maine is ready to roll!

Bill McKibben rallies the crowd at the State Theater

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