Our Opinion: Climate change moving faster than accord
China's decision to sign the Paris climate agreement is a positive step. Global warming, however, is getting ahead of the planet.
President Xi Jinping and President Obama met Saturday to put the world's two largest economies on record in support of the accord. The China's plan is not as specific as is that of the U.S., but that nation's major air pollution problems may spur long overdue change.
Here at home, the New York Times reported this weekend on the issue of flooding in cities along the Eastern seaboard caused by no more than high tides and high winds. Flooding absent storms is an indicator of global warming, and as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist William Sweet told the Times, "Once impacts become noticeable, they're going to be upon you quickly. It's not a hundred years off — it's now."
Still with their heads buried in the disappearing sands are Republican congressmen, who are not only denying funding to these communities but rejecting requests by the Navy to address flooding at its coastal bases, including Norfolk, the world's largest naval base. The Navy's proposals to address flooding are part of a "radical climate change agenda," according to Ken Buck, a Republican congressman from Colorado. Money for weapons, but not for flooded bases.
"I'm a Republican, but I also realize, by any objective analysis, the sea level is rising," said Jason Buelterman, the mayor of tiny Tybee Island, which is seeing the road connecting it to the Georgia mainland vanish underwater. There's the real overheated world, and there is the ideological fantasy world of those watching the Atlantic coast start to drown.