by Sean Siperstein
Stepping back for a moment from breaking in-depth legal analysis, I just wanted to note that in Bangladesh, over 1,000 people have lost their lives (that we know of) as the result of a Category 5 cyclone, Sidr. Science writer Chris Mooney has been all over this story, and his co-blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum has a moving videoblog up as well.
As with the California wildfires, there is nothing to directly tie this to global warming and the focus now should be on supporting recovery efforts. But the resonance remains because, as Adam Siegel notes over at Energy Smart, Bangladesh is particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels and powerful cyclones.
This is also somewhat eerie for me because just the other day, I was excitedly emailing friends about the apparent potential of the new SimCity Societies game, based on Andrew Revkin's NY Times description of how the game simulates the truly global scope of climate-change impacts:
For gamers who build a city around fossil energy choices, droughts and heat waves supposedly intensify (I haven’t bought it yet). As the producer, Rachel Bernstein, explained, climate-related disasters abroad also have a ripple effect that hurts your imagined city’s economy. And on and on.
The point is cliched, but it bears repeating: what goes on here, at every level of governance and even in the minutiae of jurisprudence, echoes elsewhere and vice versa.