Appearing in the Advocate under a different heading, Froma Harrop notes that with the gradual disappearance of the coronavirus in the news climate change is back on the front page.
he threat of a rapidly warming planet is actually harder to deal with. It can’t be fixed with a vaccine. Slower-moving, it’s easier to put off addressing the impending disaster. And worldwide in scope, it’s politically hard for America to step forward. After all, the United States produces 13 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions, but China is responsible for 26 percent. Left unchecked, however, climate change will visit catastrophe on places where millions of Americans live. It will unleash global mass migrations that are dangerous and difficult to control. And it will pile on any number of medical crises.creators.com
We are already seeing the effect in health and in changing natural disasters. Wild fires, floods and storms. Hotter and wetter conditions spawning mosquitoes and illness. Warming waters and drought. 2020 saw more named hurricanes. And the list goes on – and on.
The nonprofit research firm First Street Foundation estimates that the flooding caused by climate change will be worse than government estimates. Its models suggest that by 2050, up to 84 percent of the buildings in Cape Coral, Florida, and nearly all buildings in New Orleans will be at substantial risk of flood damage. The Department of Defense has labeled climate change “a threat multiplier.” This means that security threats already out there will become more ominous. They include poverty, environmental degradation, political instability and social tensions — any of which can enable terrorism and spawn other forms of violence.
Areas are becoming uninhabitable or the treat is becoming real. The Naval Base at Hampton Roads is subject to flooding. Miami is under threat. Louisiana is losing land. The Outer Banks are in trouble. Countries in Africa are in both drought and excessive heat.
Climate change is expected to turn millions of Americans into migrants as well. Matt Hauer, a sociologist at Florida State University, projects that the homes of 13 million Americans living on the coasts will sink under the waves. The residents will obviously have to go somewhere else. Those who think President Biden’s aggressive climate change agenda is radical should think about how very radically their world will change if the trend continues unhindered. Meeting the challenge will be the ultimate moon shot — making the defeat of COVID seem easy by comparison.