Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sandy & climate change

From The New Yorker, Nov 12, 2012


Reiner Grundmann said...

Two possible captions:

"Climate change has arrived at our doorsteps"

"Hi, I am Sandy, and used to be Al Gore's pet"

Hans von Storch said...

If realistic, it demonstrates that New Yorkers are well adapted to the risk of flooding (at least at first sight)

Werner Krauss said...

In the discussion about flood and climate change, symbolic concepts and reality are inseparably intertwined. This cartoon tells more than a photograph: whatever we think about the relation between Sandy and climate change, the polar bear is already around. I am afraid that even numbers won't make him go away. Whenever their will be another extreme weather event, he will drop by and just say "hi".

Hans von Storch said...

Werner, I would agree; what remains open is, however, how big the bear will be. In Germany it will be a mighty one, but in the US maybe more of the size of a squirrel? Over time, the size changes.

Werner Krauss said...

Well, here in the New Yorker it is definitively bigger than a squirrel.

It is interesting that the polar bear survived all attempts of deconstruction; maybe Lomborgianism took the polar bear for real and forgot that he mainly serves as a symbol; even in Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth" the polar bear was an animated cartoon.
That's why he still drops by and says "hi", reminding folks that climate change is round the corner.

Hans von Storch said...

Werner, you may be too limited. Maybe, the bear was always there ... the type of cultural knowledge which links sin and extreme weather?

You claim - "not going away" - as the list of such symbols is finite, is either contradictory in itself, because we would otherwise have a steadily growing number of such symbols, which we do not have (this is the contradiction), or all symbols would be "recycled".

Werner Krauss said...

Hans, you are too picky, my dear. Of course symbols change. I was just amused that the polar bear is still alive & well, even though he has been hunted down for years by the best of our big symbol hunters! "Cultural knowledge which links sin and extreme weather" - obviously, this razor sharp analytical bullet does not make him run away or even kill him! It just makes people look stupid and scientists clever...but anyway, the polar bear still says "hi".

stan said...

If our friends in Europe think that the New Yorker cartoons represent some sort of mainstream thought in the US, they are mistaken. Neither the magazine nor the cartoonist are very representative.

Mark B. said...

At least this is better than photoshopping a lonely bear, as like-minded people have done in the past. Or for that fact photoshopping a flooded house, as they've also done.

RainerS said...

While possibly not Al Gore´s pet, this definitely is a Democratic bear.

- it is a drifter with bad judgement, showing up near NYC just now.

- it has an air of entitlement about it (reminds me of my dog when she feels she needs a treat).

- it probably holds a bachelor´s degree in gender studies, focussing on role models of female sea lions off Mendocino. With this kind of qualification, it doesn´t know how to hunt - that´s why it is drifting around in the first place.

- if it wasn´t for fear of ingesting traces of DDT, it would have eaten the woman on the porch already.

- it is a regular New Yorker reader and is sure humans can influence the weather via CO2. Right now, he is waiting for the next AGW induced storm to dump fish near its current location. For the near future, it is confident some blocking pattern will freeze over Jamaica Bay so it doesn´t need to worry how to get home.

ghost said...


Hm, a polar bear does already see the climate change in the Arctic.