Re "Experts set threshold for climate-change calamity," Sept. 28
Twenty-five years to reach the climate-change tipping point sounds like a long time. But the truth is it will take all of that time, and more, to rebuild our fossil fuel-based energy system using clean renewable energy. It will take a concerted, sustained effort to make it happen, not business as usual.
A good place to start is to implement the "polluter pays" principle: Add a price to carbon so that what a consumer pays includes the cost of the damage caused by burning it. When this price is included in the cost, clean renewables are clearly the low-cost option.
Once this is obvious to consumers, the switch we need to avert climate-change calamity will happen.
There was an interesting juxtaposition of two articles on Friday and Saturday. The first, on the front page of the Business section Friday, dealt with rising condo prices in San Diego and was accompanied by an artist's rendering of a proposed 41-story luxury tower near the San Diego waterfront.
The second, on Saturday's front page, highlighted details of the just-released report of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which predicts a global rise of sea level "by 10 inches to 32 inches by century's end, up from the rise of 7 inches to 23 inches it projected in 2007."
One would think San Diego's planners would want to factor in projected sea level rise as huge new developments are considered near the city's waterfront.
When the rise in sea levels is stated in inches, people think it isn't much. We also need to consider storm surges, saltwater intrusion, coastal erosion and more. It really is time for us to plan for what is already beginning to happen.
James C. Stewart
Large areas of the planet are going dry, yet 70% of the globe is covered with water. Aquifers are being pumped dry and large populations depend on the vagaries of river flow and snowmelt. Still, the powers that be claim that desalinization is not feasible. They say that processed seawater is just too costly and too damaging to the environment.
Pipelines crisscross the country and parts of the world with oil and natural gas. Yet no comparable network of pipelines contain processed seawater with a reliable and abundant supply of the ever-expanding oceans of the earth.
Something just doesn't make sense.
Climate change calamity has been postponed 25 years. We don't have to worry for a long time.
But how can we tell our grandchildren we love them and then let them inherit the consequences of our inaction?