HALES CORNER, Wis. — Columnist Rich Lowry recently downplayed the threat posed by global warming.
However, in its report “Catastrophe Modeling and Climate Change,” Lloyd’s of London states that the 8 inches of sea-level rise off the tip of Manhattan increased Superstorm Sandy’s surge losses by 30 percent, and that “further increases in sea level in this region may non-linearly increase the loss potential from similar storms.”
This statement is profoundly disquieting when one considers that the United States’ Fourth National Climate Assessment projects oceans to rise by 1 to 4 feet by the end of this century and that “a rise by as much as 8 feet cannot be ruled out.”
Twenty-five Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities are already experiencing accelerating rates of daily tidal flooding, and sea-level rise is expected to be above the global average in these regions.
It’s also important to look beyond our borders. Sea level rise is caused by the warming of the oceans and the melting of land ice. Rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers feed rivers that sustain 1.65 billion people, many of whom live in India, Pakistan and China, which are nuclear powers.
Over 3,500 economists, including 27 Nobel Prize winners and top economic advisers to presidents of both parties, have endorsed a plan to fight climate change. Their “Economists’ Statement on Carbon Dividends” advocates putting a steadily rising price on carbon dioxide emissions and returning the money to the American people.
Let’s reach across divides and provide U.S. leadership in the fight to slow climate change.