Do you happen to be a PR stooge who represents a climatologist, weather expert, hurricane survivor, or pretty much anyone who’s ever encountered rain? If so, you probably sent out an email today to every media outlet in New York City trying to exploit what could potentially be a devastating natural disaster to get your guy or gal a little ink.
Since 6:30 this morning, as Hurricane Sandy builds up steam in the Caribbean, we’ve received at least a dozen offers from public relations shops to do things like teach us “more about how the electric power industry is preparing its response,” or to speak with a real life meteorologist, or to take pictures of MTA employees “affixing plywood covers to subway ventilation grates.”
As thrilling as plywood covers and power plant preparedness sounds, we’ve got paint drying that’s not gonna watch itself.
Then, of course, there are the global warming folks who claim that
the impending doom is the result of climate change — and are using the
upcoming hurricane to push their agenda. They, however, actually hit us
with some interesting statistics about hurricanes.
From the scientists at Climate Nexus:
the 11 most intense North Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, five have
occurred in the last eight years (Wilma, Rita, Katrina, Dean and Ivan).
record-breaking rainfall dumped by Hurricane Irene in 2011 was the main
impact of the storm in which flooding and other damage totaled over $15
billion, making Irene the 10th billion-dollar disaster in 2011 and the
sixth most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.
-With more than $100 billion in damages, Hurricane Katrina remains the costliest weather-related disaster on record.
June 2012, tropical cyclone Debby produced record-breaking rainfall
across Florida, in some locations dropping over 20 inches of rain in 24
hours. When Tropical Storm Debby formed on June 23, it was the first
time ever that four storms formed before July since record keeping began
-According to data from 2007, the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has increased by nearly 75% since 1970.
Look, the weather’s gonna suck next week. We could talk to all the climatologists on earth — and watch the MTA put plywood on every ventilation grate in New York — but nobody will know how bad this storm is going to suck until it hits. Or it doesn’t.
The PR hacks can spend the weekend working overtime to freak everybody out. We’re just gonna batten down the hatches, grab a beer, and expect to get a little wet come Sunday.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2012