Letters to the Editor

We should work ahead to face climate impacts

I’m not trying to convince anyone about climate change being man-made or natural. For whatever reason, it’s been getting warmer, glaciers are melting, and sea levels are rising. That much is fact. All nations working together to stop it is a fine idea, but the chances of convincing 100-plus nations to adopt big changes are essentially nil.

Therefore, it’s important to develop policies that can be handled on state and national levels to adjust to future changes, rather than just ignoring them. A distressing article about the latter option is found in the February 2015 Business Insider: “North Carolina is a prime example of the conflict between climate science and economic interests. Several years ago, a team of North Carolina scientists published a report predicting a three-foot increase in sea level by the end of the century – bad news for the popular (and often expensive) North Carolina beaches. Pressured by economically minded local residents and real-estate stakeholders, the North Carolina government eventually passed a law banning coastal policymakers from using accelerated sea-level rise predictions to make decisions for their communities.”

Shortsighted policies like this are unacceptable. We have 85 years in which to plan for future changes. While I certainly won’t be around in 2100 to suffer the consequences, as states and as a nation we have a responsibility to future generations to plan ahead, rather than just impulsively react to changes we knew were coming. Let’s work on things while we still have time.

Tim Andrews