A failure of will

Just a brief pointer this evening, life and work having been zoological today. But it’s a good one, I assure you, the kind of single data point that demolishes an entire hypothetical view of the future.

Think we can meaningfully adapt to climate change without doing anything much to head it off? Consider what’s happening in New Orleans, post-Katrina, writes Joseph Romm at Gristmill.

… Second, a classic adaptation strategy to deal with rising sea levels is levees. Yet even though we knew that New Orleans would be flooded if the levees were overtopped and breached, even though New Orleans has been sinking for decades, we refused to spend the money to “adapt” New Orleans to the threat. We didn’t make the levees able to withstand a Category 4 or 5 hurricane (Katrina was weaker at landfall than that, but the storm surge was that of a Category 4).

Third, even now, after witnessing the devastation of the city, we still refuse to spend the money needed to strengthen the levees to withstand a Category 5 hurricane. We refuse to spend money on adaptation to preserve one of our greatest cities, ensuring its destruction, probably sometime this century.

Please go read. Good stuff.

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