Global warming lapping at our feet

Excerpted from the Sept. 8 "Digital Diary'' column

Here’s an example of how a large part of the Republican Party has embraced ignorance and wishful thinking (and I am not just talking about its presidential nomination of a sociopath, against, sadly, a Democratic candidate with  enough  baggage to start a luggage company).

While senior military officials are urging the government to help them address global warming’s threats to national security, the GOP-controlled House, many members of which are proud ignoramuses about science,  history and other increasingly ignored matters, are blocking a broad program to address the security threats posed by such effects of global warming as rising seas. These threats are already very visible in such places as Norfolk, Va., where officials at the world’s largest naval base are trying to protect the facilities from  increasing flooding.

The New York Times, in a Sept. 3 story headlined “Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun,’’ notes that “the Obama administration  has been  pushing federal agencies, including the Pentagon, to take more aggressive steps {to address rising  seas}. But without action in Congress, experts say that these efforts fall far short of what is required.’’

But then, as retired Rear Admiral David Titley, a former Navy chief oceanographer who now runs a climate center at Pennsylvania State University, told The Times: “In the country,  certainly in the Congress, it hasn’t really resonated ---  the billions and perhaps trillions of dollars that we would need to spend if we want to live on the coast like we’re living today.’’

-- Robert Whitcomb