The bottom line: Bloomberg, who’s now spent seven years in office working out his next move once he leaves, decided to use his Sandy-expanded national profile to give a last-minute endorsement to Barack Obama (and, of course, up his political profile in the process), was simply unprepared for the impact of climate change on his own city—despite his credit-taking for righting New York after 9/11, despite his disastrous response to the 2010 blizzard, and despite Irene’s near-miss last year.
The mayor whose city is made up of three islands, along with The Bronx, has spent much of his term trying to encourage residents and businesses to migrate to the edge of the waterfront in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Some visionary…
When I asked the senior administration official about the high number of people the mayor said have been displaced, and the lack of a plan for them, he asked me back: Was I saying that there wouldn’t have been 40,000 people displaced if the city was better prepared, or was I saying that the city should have found housing for them? He then dismissed both of his own straw-man questions as “unfair,” which they are, before signing out of our conversation.
What I am asking—and will happily update if the official or anyone else in the Bloomberg administration cares to respond—is how the man who’s now painting himself as a global-warming visionary (an issue where my sympathies and beliefs are with him, incidentally), who’s compared climate change to terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, failed to mention or plan for even the prospect of such an event over 11 years in office.