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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

There Are More Houstons To Come

Category: Environment
Posted: 08/28/17 13:05

by Dave Mindeman

Houston is the 4th largest city in the US. It is built on the coast. It is built over marshland.

In a country run by climate deniers, Houston is not just a disaster but it is also a symptom. A symptom we need to react to and plan for.

The global temperature is warming...faster than predicted. And ignoring the effects is not only a state of denial, it is a tragic mistake. Our coastline cities are vulnerable to events like Houston is experiencing. And we still have not properly protected New Orleans from another Katrina like event.

Are we going to band aid these disaster as they come up with massive investments in emergency services? or are we going to make the harder decision of investments in prevention.

We seem to be in love with ocean front housing. We move farther out and on shakier foundations. We build houses on stilts as if that is smart thinking. We reclaim land from the sea only to give it back quickly and at devastating costs.

The ocean is going to reclaim more land. And storms are going to get worse and with more devastating consequences. Our coastlines need better management and better planning. It is flat out wrong to subsidize this foolishness. And it is unfair to the rest of American taxpayers to pay for rebuilding on unsafe ground.

We have past the point of stopping global warming. Let's face facts. We can only hope to contain it some and that would require a political philosophy shift. One that again has been delayed by an election gone wrong.

Instead of making Al Gore the focus of ridicule, how about we listen to his message. He has been right about climate change. And all the denials and made up facts from the other side have been proved wrong or undergone yet another talking point revision.

Houston is a symptom of a broader coming catastrophe. The ongoing debate about those effects is a foolish waste of time. Time we may have less of than before. Time we may regret with our inaction.

The simple truth is that we must have a drastic political change. We need climate to come to the forefront of current debate. We need to get rid of fossil fuel industry doctored facts and advertising tripe.

There are more Houstons waiting in the wings. We need to address that emergency - but we need to look ahead and get realistic about coastal development and protection.
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