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The latest Point of Inquiry episode just went up. It’s a special episode, in which co-host Indre Viskontas and I are both in the same place (very rare) and each inteview a guest–after actually, you know, talking to each other about current events.

It went great–and it doesn’t hurt that our guests are superstars: The Men Who Stare at Goats author Jon Ronson and the magician, psychologist, and bestselling skeptic author Richard Wiseman. Enjoy the show–listen here.


Predicting Sandy Was Easy, if You Listen to Scientists

I had forgotten about this video until very recently. In it, I am recorded by Seed Magazine, then my employer, asking a question for the 2008 presidential candidates–and my topic is whether they’re ready for a hurricane submerging much of New York City.


My precise words:

“What are you going to do about the well documented possibility of a strong hurricane hitting New York City and possibly submerging much of it? Have you or your advisers even begun to think about this incredibly alarming scenario?”

As I recall, this was supposed to be submitted to CNN for some sort of crowd-sourcing of questions they were doing. Clearly, it was never asked directly of any candidate.

The point is, this kind of disaster was easy to predict if, you know, you pay attention to scientists.

So why didn’t our leaders start building seawalls back in 2007? Simple–we continue to have a huge disconnect between science and public policy in America. It has always been my goal to bridge that gap. But we’ve got a long, long way to go.


My latest piece in Mother Jones is zinging around everywhere right now–as I write this, Facebook likes on the piece just went over 1K.

The article about how we ignore disaster predictions in the U.S. until it’s too late–focusing in particular on an uncanny 2006 analysis from NASA, which discussed a worst-case hurricane capable of submerging

….the Rockaways, Coney Island, much of southern Brooklyn and Queens, portions of Long Island City, Astoria, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens, lower Manhattan, and eastern Staten Island from Great Kills Harbor north to the Verrazano Bridge.

So, yeah. We knew. Just like we did long before Katrina.

For the whole piece, read here.


My Brother’s Novel, Hometown Heroes

It’s not often that I get to announce something this awesome.

My brother Davy Mooney has written and published his first novel, Hometown Heroes.

It’s about two musicians, both displaced from New Orleans by Katrina, both of whom ultimately end up in New York….like my brother did, where he has just experienced yet another hurricane in Brooklyn last night.

Only, these two musicians have widely divergent fates. And that’s where this story of music, love, fate, and…the supernatural…begins.

Here’s a note that Davy sent to announce the book:

It’s my first novel, entitled ‘Hometown Heroes’. It’s all about jazz, New Orleans, and New York, and it’s been a labor of love for me that I’m excited to share with everyone who I’ve worked with, taught, hung out with, played music with, and raised hell with (categories that aren’t mutually exclusive).

And here’s the back cover blurb:

In the years after Hurricane Katrina, the lives of New Orleans guitarists Joe Applebalm and Jerry Elsworth follow wildly divergent paths. They both end up in New York, but while the success of Jerry’s memoir ‘Hometown Heroes’—and the subsequent TV show based on the book—brings him fame, fortune, and a life of luxury, Joe, wondering bitterly where he went wrong, languishes in day-job oblivion. Over a drunken night back in New Orleans the two are brought together, and strange forces attempt to influence their fates…

And here’s my take: This book is both funny and heartbreaking. If you don’t believe me, just give it a read….$ 4.99 on Kindle.


Did Climate Change Supersize Hurricane Sandy?

My latest piece in Mother Jones is about the climate influence on Hurricane Sandy. It didn’t cause the storm, but it probably will increase its damage, due to increased rainfall and higher seas that will penetrate further inland.

I also discuss more uncertain areas, such as whether global warming is making storms larger overall–Sandy is a colossus–and whether it might be affecting hybrid storms in the midlatitudes (technically, Sandy is a hybrid tropical-extratropical cyclone).

You can read the full piece here. Needless to say…be safe out there.


I have a new piece up at Mother Jones. It’s a reaction to the recent PBS Frontline special “Climate of Doubt,” and the piece is entitled, “Did the Climate Deniers Win?

My contention is that if so–and that’s the point of “Climate of Doubt,” how they basically shut down climate progress during the Obama years–then it’s temporary at best. In fact, it may even be their last stand.

You can read the full piece here.