Let's be clear Tom--climate change has been underway since, oh, forever. The question pertaining to Sandy is whether a recent warming trend since the 18th Century is producing "ever more destructive storms" or was Sandy simply a collision between an unseasonably cold airmass and a hurricane?
When it comes to hurricanes one prominent NOAA researcher says no, there's no evidence global warming is having an effect yet. Others agree but are holding out hope!
Now, one thing everyone knows with certainty is that more people are building homes near the ocean and areas susceptible to flooding. Tom is absolutely correct about over-development but he seemed to be suggesting some kind of top-down governmental fix (wake up call, plan for the future, etc). An easier way is to let the market take care of it. You want a house right on the beach or in a flood zone? You're gonna pay through the nose for insurance. If people get the idea the government will be there to back them up if they make risky choices they're more likely to make risky choices. Just look at the whole sub-prime disaster.