Monday, October 29, 2012

Bracing for the Storm

By Dale Bowling

No matter how little candidates want to talk about climate change, it always comes back with a vengeance into people's attention - especially when 50 million people are endangered.

That's a sixth of the country's population who are directed effected by Hurricane Sandy.

The potential loss of life is terrible to contemplate and even if there are no fatalities, the economic cost of Sandy will be devastating.

The economy will grind to a stop for a huge percentage of Americans. For days businesses all over the eastern United States will be closed. Public transportation will be shut down in a half dozen major metropolitan areas. All flights in the affected areas will be cancelled. Destruction of property will likely be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. There will be shortages of gasoline and food. A large number of people are likely to be left homeless.

Climatologists have been saying for years that the impact of climate change will increase the number and severity of environmental disasters, but their warnings have merely been cries in the wilderness.

Republicans have made quite a sport out of climate change denial. They argue that scientists aren't certain that climate change is happening (they are sure) and that if it is happening that human activity is to blame.

Scientists are sure of that too actually.

Climate Change Deniers also assert that regulation of carbon emissions will cost American business too much money now to head off something that may never happen anyway.

But think about the combined cost of Hurricane Sandy and last summer's record-breaking drought - both linked to climate change.

These are happening now and we have no reason to believe that the next few years will be better since we're not doing anything about the problem.

This past year was the hottest on record and all of the ten hottest years happened in the last fifteen years. In that time we've seen Hurricanes Hugo, Andrew, Katrina, Rita and now Sandy do enormous damage that cost hundreds of billions to clean up and are still being cleaned up. We've seen both devastating droughts and floods. Wildfires out west have increased in intensity. All of these have cost hundreds of billions of dollars in clean-up, rebuilding, lost productivity. They have and will drive up the price of food, price at the pump, the cost of living.

And this does not even mention the lives lost or ruined, not just here, but everywhere.

Frankly, the cost of not doing anything outweighs the cost of fixing the problem now.

When he was pandering campaigning recently, Mitt Romney said to a crowd that "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise ... is to help you and your family."

Since Americans live on Earth, one suspects that it would help Americans not to have frankenstorms endanger and disrupt the lives of one-sixth of America.

America- on the issue of climate change your head, your heart and your pocketbook are all in agreement.

VOTE DEMOCRAT on Nov. 6th!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post and assessment, Dale. Hopefully everyone will be able to vote on election day in the affected States. Computers require electricity. I'd suggest that if people can they vote early ahead of the storm.