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October 31 News: Cost Of Superstorm Sandy May Reach $50 Billion

Superstorm Sandy will end up causing about $20 billion in property damages and $10 billion to $30 billion more in lost business, according to IHS Global Insight, a forecasting firm. [Associated Press]

Monday’s mammoth storm that caused severe flooding, damage and fatalities to the eastern U.S. will raise pressure on Congress and the next president to address the impacts of climate change as the price tag for extreme weather disasters escalates. [Chicago Tribune]

A few months ago, forecasters were predicting a “near-normal” hurricane season. Now, the East Coast is dealing with one of the most damaging storms to date. [ABC News]

The warnings came, again and again. For nearly a decade, scientists have told city and state officials that New York faces certain peril: rising sea levels, more frequent flooding and extreme weather patterns. [New York Times]

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Raw sewage, industrial chemicals and floating debris filled flooded waterways around New York City on Tuesday. Left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the toxic stew may threaten the health of residents already dealing with more direct damages from the disaster. [Huffington Post]

A new poll released Monday shows Americans rank the presidential candidates’ views on energy policy as more important to their 2012 vote than environmental policy. [The Hill]

Meghan McCain took to Twitter late on Monday night and said, “So are we still going to go with climate change not being real fellow republicans?” The remarks from the daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) came as superstorm Sandy rocked the East Coast. [Huffington Post]

Climate change could lead to crops from the banana family becoming a critical food source for millions of people, a new report says. Researchers from the CGIAR agricultural partnership say the fruit might replace potatoes in some developing countries. [BBC]

The government and a group of leading businesses have today unveiled a major pledge to phase out the use of unsustainable palm oil by 2015 in the UK, in a bid to reduce deforestation and tackle climate change. [Business Green]

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South Africa, one of the most coal-dependent countries in the world, has taken another major step toward a clean energy future. The country’s energy minister recently announced approval of $5.4 billion for 28 wind, solar, and geothermal projects that will add 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of new renewables capacity to the grid. [CleanTechnica]