why saying “global warming caused hurricane sandy” is correct but not used by scientists

Linguist George Lakoff on the global warming politics of Hurricane Sandy {huffpo}:

There is a difference between systemic and direct causation. Punching someone in the nose is direct causation. …Any application of force to something or someone that always produces an immediate change to that thing or person is direct causation. When causation is direct, the word cause is unproblematic.

This no small matter because the fate of the earth is at stake. The science is excellent. The scientists’ ability to communicate is lacking. Without the words, the idea cannot even be expressed. And without an understanding of systemic causation, we cannot understand what is hitting us.

UPDATE: Just found a related article, Watching Sandy, Ignoring Climate Change {new yorker}.