I’ve been watching the news from Houston with a mixture of horror and disbelief. Last year the Texas Tribune did a series on the well-documented risk of catastrophic flooding from a major hurricane. Yet short-term thinking and the status quo prevailed. The warnings from scientists about the danger of paving over natural wetlands, the risk of rising sea levels and rising water temperatures in the Gulf went unheeded.
Harvey is now called a one-in-a-thousand-year storm. Record-breaking rain was due to a stalled storm and abnormally warm ocean water, both connected to climate change, according to scientists. Yet making this connection has been called politicizing the tragedy by some.
Climate change is a problem with multiple solutions; many will make life better in other ways. We’ll be rewarded with cleaner air, healthier soils and less of the nasty oil pollution that is surely in the water filling Houston neighborhoods. Ask each of our U.S. representatives to join the House Climate Solutions Caucus. Don’t believe that you can sit back and politicians will make wise decisions. It didn’t work for the residents of Houston. Tell our leaders if we don’t protect our natural world, we all lose.
Nancy Basinger, Boise