After the death and disaster visited by Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, I have a modest proposal. Let's all agree to take a serious, science-based look at what's going on with our weather.
"It's global warming, stupid," proclaimed the cover of the latest issue of Bloomberg Business Week. Others prefer the term "climate change." But after this possibly $50 billion catastrophe -- coming on the heels of the multi-billion dollar drought losses we suffered in this part of the country this summer and of last winter's positively bizarre stretch of week after week of nearly 90-degree temperatures -- isn't it worth asking just what is going on? Many scientists say ocean levels are rising, perhaps linked to the melting of polar icecaps; one factor in the flooding that wreaked so much havoc out East last week.
After all that, we probably won't see Mitt Romney treat climate change as a laugh line in a joke, the way he did at the Republican National Convention.
Look, I'm glad that Romney and others -- Republicans and Democrats -- are skeptical that human beings can do much to reverse climate change. Certainly, some of the steps that some environmentalists have proposed are enormously expensive and would put many coal miners and other workers on the unemployment line. But let's stop treating the issue as a fantasy invented by Al Gore. Climate change is real. And it's claiming more lives and treasure much sooner than many of us feared.