Focus on preparing for storms (Greer)
08/29/2017 Filed in: News Journal
Preparing Delaware for storms and dealing with the aftermath is the only practical way for Delaware to deal with sea level rise and climate change, whatever the causes.
The [8/11/17] editorial "U.S. can't ignore climate change" offers criticisms but no solutions.
If global man-made emissions are really the problem, the Paris climate accord is no solution because cuts by some countries are swamped by unlimited increases by others. Chinese increases alone would exceed total U.S. emissions.
Paris exempts most countries by stipulating "economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities," not climate change.
Sea level rise off Delaware has been about 1 foot per century relative to the land, more than most places. But geologists say this is mainly due to the land sinking, not climate change, and the sinking will continue regardless.
Storms are the real and present threat, not because they are getting worse, they aren't, but because they will always happen.
The worst storm ever to hit Delaware occurred long before significant CO2 emissions. "The Gale of 1878" caused a 7-foot storm surge, extensive statewide damage, and 18 deaths.
Delaware cannot act for the entire U.S. any more than the U.S. can act for the world. Delaware must try to act in its own best interest and adapt to whatever comes.
John E. Greer, Jr.