Election 2013: Climate Change

The vast preponderance of climate scientists agree that the threat is real — and coming fast

   Last week we wrote that a prerequisite for office-seekers in the November election must be a demonstrated ability to be civil. This week we would like to bring attention to climate change and sea-level rise.
    At this point all but a narrowing fringe agree that climate change is a pressing danger, especially in coastal communities like ours. Erosion, already a fact of life along these shores, is predicted to accelerate over time. The number and intensity of storms are expected to rise as well, putting Long Island at increased risk of catastrophe.
    One can argue about the causes and number of degrees the global temperature is likely to rise, but the fact remains that the vast preponderance of climate scientists agree that the threat is real — and coming fast.
    To some degree, state and federal governments have begun to act and have come up with recommendations. However, at the local level, at which most land-use decisions are made, the response has been unsatisfactory. Elected and appointed officials in both East Hampton and Southampton Towns have generally clung to outdated line-in-the-sand approaches, hoping they can hold back the sea. Even now policies are being made in the absence of expert advice and boards are simply going along with those who have vested interest in a particular outcome. Answering the challenges ahead will require much more.
    As local nominating committees consider candidates for the November elections, they should agree to put forward those with a demonstrable grasp of the science underlying global warming. Leaders must ignore the clouded thinking of the conspiracists who deny it. Also important will be the candidates’ willingness to work with the best available people to prepare the region for the long haul. Political hopefuls who do not articulate sound vision for meeting this massive challenge will not be worthy of voter support.


Comments

Dear Editor, Science is not a prepondence. Is there climate change? Indeed there is. Is this caused by humanity? NO, it is not! Is it possible that we MAY be adding to or subtracting from that rate of change? Possible but so far NOT proved. The Earth has a 500,000 year record of warming and cooling resulting in warm periods, like now, and cold ones, like the last ice age. These are 125,000+- years in length. We are not in the warmest, but are pretty typical for the recorded warm periods. We are due for and will get cooling that will last 100,000+ years. Our future generations need to be ready. No do-overs. Interestingly, CO2 in the atmosphere increases after warming has taken place, like now. Look it up, ptretty obvious if you think about the different way cold and warm soda fizzes when opened. This does not mean we should willy-nilly pollute, but use mlore natural gas, etc. and conserve what we have within rational economics. let's stop stampeeding every time someone comes up with faux science. Remember, the "preponderance" might be orthapedic not climatology scientists. PLUS, Science is not a preponderance not a consensus, but actual phyisical work with papers presenting the evidence. Peter Osborne