Un huracán democrático

NUEVA YORK – Nada nos hace concentrarnos mentalmente como una crisis en toda regla. Como millones de personas más en la ciudad de Nueva York, oí al huracán Sandy sacudir mis ventanas y mis puertas. Tuve más suerte que muchos. Lo único que hizo fue sacudirlas.

Durante muchos años, los expertos han estado advirtiendo que esa clase de tormentas arrollarían las anticuadas infraestructuras urbanas de la ciudad. Agua salada entró a raudales en las estaciones de metro abiertas. Los daños en el sistema de suministro de electricidad redujo una tercera parte de Manhattan a un estado de obscuridad premoderno y eso fue sólo en Nueva York. En ciertas zonas de Nueva Jersey, muchas personas afortunadas por tener aún una casa están incomunicadas por ríos de aguas residuales que llegaban hasta sus puertas.

Nadie puede decir con seguridad si esa tormenta concreta fue causada por el calentamiento planetario, pero casi todos los expertos convienen en que los efectos de la fusión del hielo polar y el aumento del nivel del mar empeorará las tormentas futuras y, sin embargo, ninguno de los dos candidatos de la campaña presidencial de los Estados Unidos se molestó en mencionar las consecuencias potencialmente catastróficas del cambio climático.

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