Letters to the Editor

Climate change is here, but we can act now

Bill Curtis' "Solving climate change will require compromise" (May 15) forum argues that man-made global warming requires us to configure the energy infrastructure for nuclear and natural gas, an argument that probably struck many as appropriate but unrelated to their everyday lives.

However, increased flooding and deluges, such as we've seen in the last month, are exactly the sort of phenomena associated with global warming. Climate change is no abstraction and will have specific impacts on the Coast.

According to various sources, more rain fell April 29 than would typically fall in all of April and May. Mississippi Public Broadcasting and MEMA reported that floods destroyed 10 homes and one business and caused major damage to 130 homes, all with nary a tornado or tropical storm in sight.

Our changing climate -- and even 59 percent of Republicans accept that our climate is changing, according to a 2015 University of Texas survey -- requires us to recognize that such damage will continue as long as we pave everything and build everywhere, as has long been the case north of Interstate 10.

Locally, we can adapt to more frequent severe flooding. Smart zoning boards and sound municipal planning will suffice for that.

So, instead of throwing up our hands when FEMA flood zones prove wrong, we need to apply local knowledge and good sense to our own climate change problems. We can sacrifice low-lying land to our own drainage and flood control needs without waiting for the reconfiguration of global energy production.

The torrents of April suggest that climate change is here and now. Luckily, so is our own ability to act and adapt.


Long Beach