Posts Tagged 'storms'

Now is the time to act in NY and NJ

OK, now that the election is over, can we please have an adult conversation about climate change?

Pretty please?

Climate change is real, it is not a hoax. The world is changing dramatically. Just ask folks in NY and NJ who never expected to have water in their homes, businesses and subways to the extent it happened. The water surged at the level it did because of rising sea levels.

Some are trying to get around the issue of how to deal with it by saying basically let’s not talk about why it happened, let’s just do something. But I don’t think that works.

As I tell my daughter, actions have consequences. They can be good consequences, or bad or somewhere in between. But every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Remember that from Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of motion in middle school science? How can you solve problems if you don’t know why something happened?

To President Barack Obama: congratulations on winning a second term. I was very pleased to hear you mention the climate in your speech (very) early this morning. It’s a start.

Now, it is time for you to take the lead on climate change,  something you failed to discuss during the campaign. I get it; you were being pilloried by the right for everything else, why give the climate deniers and Obama-haters one more sound bite?

But you have an opportunity, here, Mr. President. Hurricane Sandy’s overwhelming destruction should be used as an opening to re-make New York and New Jersey better, stronger and green. Use your powerful voice and speaking ability to rally the nation and use federal money to make it happen. If countries in Europe can put up gates to keep the water out, so can we.

And, please sir, don’t wait years like it’s taken in New Orleans. Grist.org published a story today about a Katrina-ravaged neighborhood that has been re-built into the largest solar project in Louisiana. That’s great, but Katrina hit in 2005.

Let’s not wait seven years to launch a new way forward in New York and New Jersey. Now is the time to act.

 

 

 

Using the right wording really does matter

I sometimes wonder if, and therefore how, the climate debates would be different today had the folks who started using the term “global warming” publicly instead used climate change, as most folks use now.

As I tried to explain it once to an acquaintance, in the short term climate change means more storms — all seasons — and more intense storms, and that the end result is a warming trend, but not on a season to season or year to year basis.

He said, and I quote, “Oh, I’ve never heard it explained like that before.”

I suggested he expand his daily news digest to include something fact-based, but I don’t know if he did.

And here’s some new reporting from the Associated Press on this topic; more severe weather and storms. It’s from a draft report to be issued in the next few weeks from the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

— Linda J.