Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid. Now Do Something.

Yesterday, the Obama Administration released a study analyzing the potential impact of climate change in the United States. It read like the Ten Plagues at my family's annual seder:

heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows

And if that wasn't enough...

heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents

That's right, all that is missing is slaying of the first born. 

This study is very positive in that it is a frank assessment in relatively plain language of what we will have to address in terms of the impact of climate change.  Hopefully, now that the issues have been named, we will be able to be more proactive about enacting market-based and regulatory amelioration, and ideally, solutions. 

The current amelioration mechanism on the table--Waxman-Markey--seems to be in trouble.  First, the bill has not been very effectively communicated or sold to the American public.  Second, it seems to be subsumed beneath the health care media juggernaut.  Finally, agrobusiness interests have been successfully gaining a foothold in tying up the process. 

We need to get on with it.  Cap-and-trade or carbon tax, regulation of GHG under the Clean Air Act, green building market and regulatory programs.  Either that, or be prepared to host a giant tropical cockroach at your next seder.

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Creative Greenius - June 19, 2009 4:59 PM

Well Said Shari,
And if folks like you - outside of the mainstream media - weren't saying it then it wouldn't get said.

The response to this report in newspapers, on local TV news, on national network news, on cable news and everywhere outside the blogs and enviro sites has big one big fat FAIL.

Folks like you and me need to play Paul Revere or the sea water will be lapping around our poison ivy covered ankles while we thirst for drinkable water and wish we had built desalination facilities while we still had the chance.

You say in your piece, "Hopefully now that the issues have been named, we will be able to be more proactive about enacting market-based and regulatory amelioration, and ideally, solutions."

But the truth is, we have NO hope of that happening unless you, me and the rest of the people who grok the significance of the climate change news do our part in relentlessly banging this drum.

Just today it was reported that Polar ice caps are melting faster and oceans are rising more than the United Nations projected just two years ago, 10 universities said in a report suggesting that climate change has been underestimated.

How much press do you suppose that will get?

Keep up the great work!

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