I was in New York City a couple of weeks ago giving several lectures. How strange it was to fly in over the city lights, cab through a recently flooded tunnel, and find my hotel without incident. Only after talking to cab drivers and old professional friends did the impact on so many reveal itself, including major hospitals still closed, and particularly the many, many stories of how those spared immediate devastation reached out to those not so fortunate.
At the beginning of my talks I acknowledged this terrible devastation, but asked if there could be a silver lining in that finally the greater public and policy makers will have to confront the realities of climate change in increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Ideally, this increased attention will lead not only to short run defensive measures like seawalls but also the more difficult but critical upstream policies like taxing carbon that will be needed to save the planet for our grandchildren.