Eric Roston argues that Hurricane Sandy, like 9/11, sounded the alarm that "New York, as a proxy for the United States, is unprepared for anticipated 21st century threats":
The storm is different. Sandy elicits no moral shock of war, no blinding national insult, "no unified, unifying, Pearl Harbor sort of purple American fury," as a columnist put it in Time magazine after 9/11. Instead we're up against something much more elusive, an enemy we're much more poorly equipped to deal with than sleeper terrorist cells: the Earth.
"No one seems to care about the upcoming attack on the World Trade Center site," wrote Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert in a provocatively titled 2006 Los Angeles Times op-ed. "Why? Because it won't involve villains with box cutters. Instead, it will involve melting ice sheets that swell the oceans and turn that particular block of lower Manhattan into an aquarium."