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Gore On Sandy: 'This Storm Was Related To Global Warming'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Former Vice President Al Gore said late last week that there is no doubt that Superstorm Sandy was related to global warming, and people need to stop and think about what is happening to the planet.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, speaking last week Gore said flatly of Sandy, "This storm was related to global warming."

WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reports


Gore said "dirty energy causes dirty weather," and people need to think about the consequences of pollution.

"We're putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day; spewing it up there as if the atmosphere of the planet is an open sewer, free to use, free of charge, just put as much junk up there are you want to," he said.

Gore criticized the federal government – Congress in particular – for failing to take action on global warming.

"What will it take for the national government to wake up?" he said.

Gore said when the large carbon polluters tell Congress to jump, they do say how high. But he also criticized President Barack Obama for not demanding more action.

"We need leadership in the executive branch as well," he said. "I deeply respect our president and I'm grateful for the respect that he has taken. But we can't have four more years of mentioning this occasionally and saying, 'It's too bad that the Congress can't act.'"

At the Thursday event, Gore was the surprise guest to introduce Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said New York City will work on upgrading building codes and evacuation-zone maps, hardening power and transportation networks and making sure hospitals are better prepared for storms.

Bloomberg discussed responding to both Superstorm Sandy and global warming in his speech Thursday at a Regional Plan Association meeting.

"We cannot solve the problems associated with climate change on our own here in New York City, but I think it's fair to say we can lead the way," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said that as a start, Con Edison has agreed to spend $250 million. The goal is to get its electrical, steam and gas systems in shape to withstand a Category 2 hurricane.

To protect critical equipment from flood damage the utility is hoping to raise electrical relay houses in substations and install stronger barriers and flood pumps. Con Ed said it is also considering putting major overhead power lines underground.

Bloomberg said officials will also revisit construction laws. That especially applies to height restrictions that could discourage people from elevating their homes.

Do you agree with Gore's assessment? Leave your comments below...

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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