Saturday, June 24, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 16
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Santa Maria Sun / Letter To The Editor

The following article was posted on June 14th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 15

Whose hair is on fire?

By Michael Segor - San Luis Obispo

It’s not just Democrats with flaming hair (“Trump sets Dems’ hair on fire,” June 8). It’s easy to spot a sharp party split on climate change in Congress. But if you’re on a local planning commission, your position will depend less on your party affiliation and more on how much you’ve been spending on repairs and upgrades in response to recent extreme weather events.

City and county governments own most of the public infrastructure at risk of damage or obsolescence due to the rising frequency and intensity of heat and flooding events. Even localities high above sea level and not situated along a river are worried about unprecedented runs on ground-water supplies in recent years.

Hotter summer temperatures are accelerating the drawdown of aquifers. Warmer winter temperatures are thinning mountain snow packs and slowing the replenishment of those aquifers.

The mayors of 274 cities, Republicans and Democrats, have pledged to uphold the commitment the U.S. made at the Paris Climate Conference, mitigate greenhouse gases within their jurisdictions and prepare for the impacts of climate disruption.

The roster of the group that refers to itself as “the Climate Mayors” includes the 10 biggest cities in the country: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, and San Jose.

Americans have a moral obligation to consider the problems we will leave behind for our children and grandchildren. What will it cost property owners and taxpayers to lose coastal public and private infrastructure? How will we feed ourselves with empty or contaminated aquifers?

The Climate Leadership Council, led by former officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, have come up with a market-friendly way to solve climate change with less reliance on regulation. Their plan, called “Climate Dividends,” is worth checking out.