The July 24 forum “Your air conditioner is making the heat wave worse” by Stan Cox states so many home truths about man-made global warming that I may revise my opinion of this newspaper.
Cox’s article ran only four days after AP’s “El Nino is gone, but Earth’s record heat is sticking around” story that included a litany of climatic records: June was the warmest on record, the Arctic sea ice extent is on track for a record low, June was the 14th month in a row with record heat, etc.
I want to emphasize when Stan Cox argues that “We must help the most distressed urban hot zones cool down again by jackhammering concrete, re-creating green space and improving the quality of housing,” he’s also describing ways to deal with our own recurring flash floods.
More trees, more green space and less concrete will reduce rain runoff and ease flood woes as well as fight the “urban heat island effect” that helps keep Coast air conditioners humming from May to October.
Such simple adaptations wouldn’t require international agreements, congressional legislation or a new national energy infrastructure. They could be mandated by city councils and zoning boards, who should also be planning for a probable 3-6 feet increase in sea level by 2100.