How The Big Banks Helped Cause Hurricane Sandy

Wall Street may be getting back to business just days after Hurricane Sandy, but a new report shows the country may want the big banks to take some more time off.

Line at a New Jersey gas station post-hurricane Sandy (credit: Kristina Chew)


According to a new report by Rainforest Action Network the banking sector is a major source of climate disruption, perpetuating the reliance on dirty energy sources and enabling polluters. The report states that despite the fact that the insurance industry has identified climate change as a significant risk of loss, banks like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase continue to invest in polluting energy industries like coal at the expense of renewables like wind and solar.

“Banks will need to shift financing from fossil fuel-based power sources to low-carbon energy infrastructure for our communities and the climate,” said Ben Collins, Research and Policy Campaigner for RAN in a statement. “One way of doing that is by measuring the climate impact of investments and committing to reduction targets for financed emissions, now.”

The report also points to the fact that despite the “reputational and financial risks [associated with financing dirty energy], the world’s largest banks have yet to measure the greenhouse gas emissions induced by their investing and financing relationships.”

Wall Street is hardly alone in its dangerous enabling of climate change and climate change denialism. The media has been all to willing to grant equal time to climate change denialists in the name of “fairness” and without holding those “skeptics” to any level of rigor in fact-checking. Let’s be frank, even having one of these climate truther theories pass the “smell test” would be an improvement in the overall reporting by the mainstream media on the issue of climate change.

The big banks will do whatever the big banks need to do to turn a profit. And that usually comes at the greatest cost to middle class lives and livelihoods. In that respect Hurricane Sandy is a little like the foreclosure crisis: both were created by Wall Street and in both Wall Street has somehow managed to escape accountability.


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Photo from Alex E. Proimos via flickr.

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Hannah Scrivener
Hannah Scrivener2 years ago

Banks are corporations; they think, act and do as any big business would. And that's not healthy for the rest of us!

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

This article has ridiculous claims it doesn't back up. And as for the media, isn't it their job to offer both sides of an issue and let us make up our minds?

Harley Williams
Harley W.3 years ago

Oh by the way. China puts out more polution in a day then the the entire US does in about six months.

Harley Williams
Harley W.3 years ago

Warming is real but Atomic energy could help stop it but the People who are supposed to understand how to save the planet actually do not think about what we need. It would be better if peopl actually learned what needs to be done instead of saying banks and oil compaies cause the warming. If people ate a little less meat and actually worked to save enegy a lot of the problem would be fixed. So a man wasting energy flying around in a private jet is not the answer. We need to each do what we can. When possilbe take a bus.

Bill Eagle
Bill Eagle3 years ago

Warming is very real, and I agree that there is no place that is safe from it.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams3 years ago


TERRANCE N.3 years ago

Don, the Mayor in my opinion is not only probably corrupt, but the cardinal sin he committed was not even trying to fake any kind of compassion for constituents. You look at Gov. Christi, the mayor for New Orleans, Ray Nagin, President Obama, Senator Gillebrand, Mayor Booker, etc,. All of them expressed some kind of emotional compassion for the suffering of people.

Bloomberg appear to only show emotions when considering whether to have the marathon or not. He showed no concern for the people of Breezy point, Coney Island, or the Rockaways.Then when he finally secretly visited the Rockaways the people started yelling at him. He looked so stupid an scared. Here is that link.

I was in New York city during the snow storm when people froze to death because of the mayhem on the subways and buses while he sun bathed in the Bermuda. He was annoyed that he had to come off his vacation. The media let's him off the hook. He is supposed to be a public servant, but he is obviously there to serve himself and his cronies.

Nancy P.
Nancy P.3 years ago

Unfortunately the government allowed banks to become the impenetrable "super-power" that they have become.

don wreford
don wreford3 years ago

Re Terrance N, on Bloomberg and failure to act on storm barriers, according to commentaries on Bloomberg, he not only appears inept but seems as if he is involved with corruption, he can not be blamed for this if NY can only exist as a corrupt city, noted when I was in NY, the restaurant size of portions were enormous, now a chance for N Yorkers to slim down a bit, owing to food shortages, the Sandy storm is the second interruption of the N Y party, is it time for N Y to have a revolution similar to the French enlightenment revolution?

TERRANCE N.3 years ago

Here is the link