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Sandy Could Revive Climate Change Debate Sandy Could Revive Climate Change Debate

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Influence

Sandy Could Revive Climate Change Debate

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Waves from Hurricane Sandy crash onto the damaged Avalon Pier in Kill Devil Hills, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 as Sandy churns up the east coast. Hurricane Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

The issue of climate change certainly got the snub this year -- it wasn't brought up once during the presidential debates. But Sandy could change that, with the help of environmental advocacy groups working to push the politically sensitive issue into the national political debate.

Or, as some on Twitter joked, Sandy was just Mother Nature's way of forcing herself into the conversation.

A number of enviro groups have put out statements making the connection between climate change and the unprecedented storm that ravaged the Eastern seaboard.

"It certainly shows that it's going to be harder and harder to keep climate change off of the agenda, because it has a way of putting itself on the agenda," Environmental Defense Fund senior vice president Eric Pooley tells the Alley.

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (formerly the Pew Center on Global Climate Change) emphasized that higher ocean temperatures and Arctic melting may have contributed to the intensity of the storm.

"At a minimum, this is another foretaste of what we face in a warming world. It tells us two things: We'd better do all we can to reduce the risks by reducing our carbon emissions, and we'd better strengthen our defenses against future impacts that it's already too late to avoid," executive vice president Elliot Diringer said in a statement.

In a blogpostNRDC Action Fund director Heather Taylor-Miesle lamented the fact that "climate change so far has been a non-issue in this election" but given how Sandy has disrupted crucial campaigning time before Election Day, has proven itself "unavoidable."

But when Sandy fades from the headlines, will it take the debate over climate change with it?

"It's never going to be just one event that changes everything, but we could look back at this and say this was a turning point when we started to get serious again about this issue," Pooley says.

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