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Big picture: Solidarity and support to people in New Jersey, New York, and other places that took the brunt of the storm.

Bigger picture: Of course no one can prove that this storm was "caused by" climate change and global warming. But the increasingly frequent occurrence of "unusual," "extreme," and "once per century" weather events -- heat, cold, drought, flood -- is in keeping with all warnings about the effects of climate change (as explained here). I'm not arguing the entire climate change case now, and don't have special standing to do so anyway. I am saying that this reminds me of the mounting evidence about smoking and health, when I was a kid -- the medical conventions my father went to in the early 1960s were full of smokers, those a decade later had practically no smokers --  or about environmentalism generally in the 'Silent Spring' era. Denialism continues, until all of a sudden it is irrelevant.

Local picture: Surprisingly, and all appropriate thanks to Pepco, we've still had power in our neighborhood (and, I gather, much of the greater DC area). Each of the past three big storms brought outages of four to five days. For the past 24+ hours in our neighborhood there has been no landline phone service, no TV (via cable), no Internet. This is on a shaky cell phone hotspot. These two shots, on either side of our house today, probably hint at the problem. I thought the vulnerable trees had all been knocked down in the past three storms, but I was wrong. Amazing they didn't hit the power lines. Back in touch in a day or so.

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I realize this is nothing compared with what people farther north are going through. Just adding to the documentation.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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