- Readers of “in a perfect storm” received no indication that climate change is heightening the likelihood of Sandy-like events. On the other hand,
- The authors of “in coastal communities” deftly discussed the difficulties (scientific and political) of including climate change science in the planning process for coastal infrastructure protection decisions.
We can build seawalls, we can raise highways, but it’s a losing proposition if you don’t stop sea-level rise.
As you correctly discerned, the Sunday story’s intent was to focus on what might have happened had Sandy struck here, and what might happen were a stronger storm to come this way in the future. It addressed the question of whether or not this region was prepared to handle such a storm.The intent of the second piece was to focus on that larger, nationwide and worldwide, issue of climate change, its implications to weather systems and what, if anything, could be done to address the consequences.That dichotomy of intent was not to minimize the significance of rising sea levels.That is why we made the judgment that the global warming issue could and should best be addressed in a separate story, with that as its focus, rather than combining it with a piece on local storm preparedness.
Thank you for your response.Evidently, I failed to communicate clearly enough. I did not see these articles as duplicative (in anyway) but quality pieces that reinforced and strengthened each other with, again, the major exception of the utter absence of climate change in Sunday’s article.Despite your words, I see no legitimacy to have zero mention of climate change in the Sunday piece. Relevant questions for Sunday’s piece include:
- Has climate change made the DC area more vulnerable since the 1963 Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) study on hurricanes?
- Will climate change increase risks?
- Does climate change make it more costly/difficult to deal with these disasters in the future?
- Are DC-area governments doing anything to incorporate climate change into their planning?One cannot ‘segregate’ articles as if 100% of each articles readers will have the time and energy to read the other. Especially, since these were articles in two different sections, on two different days, and one was a Sunday piece and the other Monday.I was simply going to write an angry letter to the editor, outraged, over the Sunday article until I saw an Eilperin tweet last night calling attention to the Monday article. And, reading that article, I was struck by the strong contrast between the two articles’ portrayal of the 21st century. Sunday’s world has no climate change discussion with what seems to be a static representation of the world while Monday’s provides indication of science realities and the political football that planners have in including reality in their work.As per the above and my letter, I do not think that a correct decision was made in segregating climate change into ‘one piece’ as opposed to simply including climate science reality within both. Doing the second would have been a more truthful approach and would better served the Fourth Estate’s mission. I regret your (the Post‘s) choice and hope that this is not the path followed into the future.A Siegel
PS: While there are a multitude of pieces out there, here are two high-quality pieces about climate change impacts on Sandy. In part, these point to how climate change was relevant for Sunday because they provide a window on the difference of 1963 impact and today from a “Sandy-like’ event: