There is a conservative approach to climate change, one that takes a pragmatic path to protecting our most valuable asset: Earth.
The approach is businesslike. And it boils down to this: Just as people buy insurance to protect themselves from auto, fire and health catastrophes, mankind should take precautions to protect the world against the catastrophic effects of climate change.
It’s a risk management approach, something that most in Jacksonville — Florida’s business city — should appreciate.
It embraces this reality: reducing carbon in the atmosphere can actually help our economy by encouraging innovation, energy independence, national security, air quality, health and jobs.
Former U.S. Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican from South Carolina, is among the growing number of Americans who accept the growing evidence that climate change is real.
Inglis has proposed a revenue neutral tax on carbon; it would include returning revenue to taxpayers and rolling back environmental regulations like the Clean Power Plan.
Meanwhile, longtime establishment Republicans like George Schultz, James Baker and Hank Paulson want corporate America to take the initiative on climate change; they prefer that to having government try to mandate corporate behavior.
Of course, the skeptics say Americans should just ignore all of the warning signs.
But instead of asking the rest of us to close our eyes to what’s obvious, these skeptics need to finally open their eyes.
Florida and flooding
“There’s no such thing as a home that doesn’t flood in Florida,” Larry LaHue, senior planner for Volusia County Emergency Management, recently told the Daytona Beach News Journal.
“There’s high risk and low risk,” LaHue added, “but there’s no such thing as no risk.”
In fact, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials warn that their flooding maps should not be used to calculate risks.
Hurricanes Matthew and Irma woke up much of Florida, especially Northeast Florida, to the dangers of storms; storm surge, coupled with rising seas, produced impacts not seen in generations.
Of Florida’s 67 counties, 49 are at high risk for flooding, according to Florida’s mitigation plan.
But sunny-day flooding already is a fact in Miami Beach, and flooding incidents are increasing in local places like Mayport.
“Officials across Florida have yet to get a firm grip on what rising sea levels could mean for the state’s future flooding woes,” the News Journal reported.
Take a tropical storm, add a storm surge, then sea level rise, high levels of rainfall and high tides — and you have a recipe for disaster.
Surge in renewables
Coal and gas fuel are facing increasing competition from renewable energy sources, reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
For example, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has plunged by 79 percent since 2010.
Batteries are the real game changer; they are a more reliable source of consistent energy than wind or solar.