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Editorial: Fossil-fuel campaign must be rebuffed

Last week, the United Nations reported that an area of Arctic sea ice larger than the United States melted. At this very moment, a tanker carrying natural gas is making its way through the normally frozen Arctic Ocean from Norway to Japan, where the natural gas will be burned, releasing carbon dioxide that will fuel global warming and speed the melting of sea ice.

Capped so far by damage from Hurricane Sandy that could approach $100 billion in New York and New Jersey alone, the past two years have racked up the biggest bills for natural disasters in America’s history. More damage, exacerbated by climate change and rising sea levels, is inevitable. Even if the world’s nations do all they can to curb greenhouse gas emissions now, the globe’s temperature will continue to increase. But pessimism that paralyzes government could prove fatal. What can be done to curb climate change must be, which makes the renewed campaign to weaken or eliminate laws requiring the increased use of renewable energy so insidious.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, the Heartland Institute and other groups that receive funding from the fossil fuel industry are engaging in state-by-state campaigns to convince consumers that energy from fossil fuels is affordable and power from renewable sources needlessly expensive. Power from solar panels, windmills and biofuels does cost more than electricity generated by burning natural gas, coal or oil, but only because the true cost of fossil fuels is paid but not accounted for. That cost comes in higher health care bills, lower life expectancies, poisoned lakes, a warming planet, rising seas, more powerful storms and all the other ills associated with rapid climate change.

ALEC and its New Hampshire allies attacked New Hampshire’s renewable fuel standards in the last legislative session and tried to convince lawmakers to pull out of the regional greenhouse gas compact. They will try again and must be rebuffed. This state, this nation and indeed all nations, will have a hard enough time coping with the effects of climate change without making the problem worse.

A poignant story in last Thursday’s New York Times described a problem that an increasing number of coastal communities will encounter. Some of the neighborhoods hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy were home to middle-class and low-income residents, most of whom lacked flood insurance. Those who can afford to rebuild, presumably with government help, will then face federal flood insurance premiums that will double over the next five years and continue to increase to pay for future storms.

Unless those seaside property owners get even bigger subsidies from taxpayers, they will be priced out of their homes, yet it doesn’t makes sense and isn’t fair to repeatedly bill others so some can live beside a rising ocean. One alternative would be to sit back and watch while people with the financial ability to pay high insurance premiums gobble up oceanfront vacated by the hoi polloi. But there is another option worth considering; the planned acquisition of oceanfront property by state and federal governments using the national seashores as a model.

A half century ago, to preserve for posterity precious oceanfront property threatened not by rising seas but a tide of residential development, lawmakers sponsored and President John F. Kennedy signed, a bill creating the Cape Cod National Seashore. Many private homes, subject to strict zoning standards remain in the seashore but most of it is owned and open to the public. Perhaps that should be the fate of properties and communities almost certain to be inundated over and over again. Compensate the owners, relocate them and reclaim the oceanfront for public use and wildlife. That way, though people forced by nature to relocate would lose a cherished place to live, the public would be richer and the oceanfront could heal.

Legacy Comments21

Interestingly, Hurricane Sandy was not a hurricane when it made landfall.

Reply to Bruce Currie (lol) ...I actually read about Gunstock in the Laconia Daily Sun. Notice also that in none of my comments did I make any claim about weather or climate. It seems now just stating facts is cause for the left to go into convulsions.

So then, what did your comment, "In other news, Gunstock Mountain opened Nov 30th...", have to do with the topic of the editorial? If the topic is climate change, would it also seem suitable to post other random unrelated news from the Laconia Daily Sun, like "Holy Trinity School has been raising funds to install a new playground", or maybe "Christmas Carolers sing at the Taylor Community in Laconia"?

I'll answer your question with another question. Why was Hurricane Sandy mentioned in the article? Are hurricanes a new phenomenon? How many hurricanes have hit the East Coast since records have been kept? And, when the next hurricane hits the East Coast, and one will, what will we hear?? Global warming? When do hurricanes hitting the East Coast, as they have since there was an East Coast, cause the Left go into global warming convulsions??? The Great Hurricane of 1938. Just a hurricane. warming. Why is this??

Wait a second while I research that.............According to a letter written by Froma Harrop to the Laconia daily Sun: "On a recent "Meet the Press," host David Gregory presided in a tailored jacket and tie. Panelists Al Sharpton, David Brooks and Ken Burns appeared similarly professional. But the two female panelists, Andrea Mitchell and Carly Fiorina, seemed ready for cocktails, not coffee, in form-fitting dresses, arms naked to the world".

GWTW innocently asks why Hurricane Sandy was mentioned in an article on climate change, demonstrating the fine line between playing devil's advocate and determined obtuseness. Its relevance (in marked contrast to that of Gunstock's opening) should be easy to understand, for those not determined to misunderstand, at least. While the number of hurricanes may vary from year to year,and as yet there is no good evidence that the numbers of such storms is increasing, on-going research suggests that warming oceans may foster more powerful storms, while rising sea levels will magnify the effects of those more powerful storms on coastal areas. That there have likely always been hurricanes over at least the last 2 millennia is not in question, just as the fact it has always snowed in New England in winter is not in question. What is at issue is the intensity of storms of all types, the intensity of rainfall events, the intensity and length of heat waves and droughts, and the fact such events may be occurring with somewhat less predictability--tropical storm systems forming after the traditional end of the hurricane season, or forming below the the equator, for example.

You can't fix stupid and you can't change the climate obsessed.

Plus ca change.... Since some of us seem to be on a first name basis, it's not surprising to see Bill up to his usual name-calling when facts fail him, as they do whenever he mentions the topic of climate change.

SCO, in a comment below, apparently thinks Obama's $39 billion loan guarantee program for green energy somehow compares to the $multi-trillion cost of the Reagan/Bush tax cuts and $trillions more in tax cut finance charges.

So what is more important?? A $39 billion loan guarantee program, or big Obama donor "green energy" boondoggles that "are continuing to drain our Social Security Trust Fund of the hard earned money that retirees, now and in the future, are depending on for their survival"...

Your concern for the Social Security Trust Fund is touching, but the green energy programs supported by stimulus funding are for the most part going to pay dividends in the future. What you're obsessed with targeting is chump change compared to many other spending "priorities" that are unnecessary and should have been "sunsetted" long ago--starting with most of the many hidden subsidies to the fossil fuels industry.

Bashing Christians is commonplace now. This is how it works. If you are a Christian Woman you are bashed by Feminists and Liberals. If you dare to disagree with them you are trashed. Just look at the trashing of Kelly Ayotte. And the horrow that was inflicted on Palin and her family. That was okay. never once did any Liberal woman come forward and say that was wrong. It is Christmas time again and so now we will here about Holiday Trees and Happy Holidays. One wonders what would happen if folks bashed other religions like the Jewish Religion. What would happen then? There would be outrage from the left. So the bottom line is the left preaches and demands tolerance, but they seem to have a hard time practicing tolerance when it comes to folks who have different opinions. They manufacture gender wars, racism etc to try and stop any opinion that disagrees with their liberal views.

Republicans can't even seem to understand the simple K-8 Reagan/Bush tax cut debt snowball math. Climate change must be way too complicated for them. Besides, God will save them anyway.

That is because that conclusion is simply false. Climate change is happening but it is not certain what impact, if any, man has on it. Please stop bashing GOD, it is offensive.

"offensive" to me is Republicans in Congress not lifting a finger to help reverse climate change, while favoring corporations who profit from the cause of climate change. "offensive" to me is Republicans constantly cry babying about tax cuts for the wealthy - tax cuts for the wealthy that are continuing to drain our Social Security Trust Fund of the hard earned money that retirees, now and in the future, are depending on for their survival - tax cuts and interest for the wealthy being charged to our kids - tax cuts for the wealthy that have been pushing America into bankruptcy for 3 decades while trickle down trickled up. And my assumption is that this type of irresponsible behavior would be "offensive" to the Good Shepherd.

I wonder how many wealthy people (fraudulently) collect SSI?? I also wonder if the "Good Shepard" would approve of billions of dollars being funneled to big Obama donor "green energy" boondoggles that "are continuing to drain our Social Security Trust Fund of the hard earned money that retirees, now and in the future, are depending on for their survival"...

There is ample evidence to support the assertion that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of global warming. There is essentially zero evidence to support your claim that there is ANY doubt about the human role in the present warming. There is only distorted science, fabrication, and outright deceit in the "evidence" to support your claim. The facts are out there for those who are truly interested in the science. That currently excludes a large portion of one political party, which persists in making up facts to suit its own twisted version of reality--on taxes, the sources of and responsibility for our debt, and climate change.

In other news, Gunstock Mountain opened Nov 30th...

It can be reasonably argued that humans caused x% of the warming rather than %y or that the effects in the future will be unlike what was predicted. Only the ignorant people who tend to post frequently on these news sites try to make the ridiculous claim that some short term local cold event has any bearing whatsoever on this debate. If you thought Gunstock would be unable to open this fall and are surprised that they did, you are dreadfully ignorant about climate change.

LOL...a one sentence comment drives the left crazy. BTW, last time Gunstock opened in November was 2002.

Don't flatter yourself. What drives people crazy is the distorted "thinking" behind such comments as yours. It betrays ignorance about the distinctions between weather and climate. The fact that such comments as yours are taken seriously by some (including on this forum) as honest rebuttals to the reality of climate change speaks volumes about the number of ill-informed, and/or willingly misled, citizens in this country. It also attests to the power of conservative media outlets such as Faux to disseminate misleading information on a routine basis.

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