November 3, 2012
Tuesday’s Daily Camera cartoon, in which “Frankenstorm” welcomed the candidates to “our presidential debate on science and global warming,” nailed the haunting lack of any mention of climate change during the three other debates. New York’s Governor Cuomo noted with irony that the new normal includes 100-year storms every two years. Nobody’s laughing.
The vast majority of America’s major cities lie on our coastline, but even Chicago had surfers on Lake Michigan enjoying 25-foot waves. Who cares whether the climate is changing due to human activity? The only question that matters is what humans can do to slow it down or quickly adapt.
The precautionary principle warns that we should do both. Profligate squandering of liquid carbon fuels and thoughtless burning of polluting coal presents much more risk of harm to our children and our children’s children than annual budget deficits and government debt. A recovering economy will address budgetary selfishness, but there is no Plan B for our planet.
Yes, we should harden our coastline cities to protect human settlements there – that harm is already upon us. $5B for tidal flood gates are a bargain when compared to the estimated $60B in damages inflicted by Hurricane Sandy. Infrastructural investments are a wise use of public funds and they create good jobs. Boulder’s CAP tax (2B) is an excellent example of taxes well spent. Making our homes and businesses more energy efficient is a no-brainer. Let’s git ‘er done!