The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 27, 2013

We’re paying to make climate change worse

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Friday’s editorial, “Assessing risks,” mentioned the costs of relief for natural disasters and also the costs of mitigation of future disasters. These are just two of the three categories of such costs, and they are increasing rapidly.

Federal relief costs are the most readily accessible and as the graph in a recent study (nonprofitquarterly.org/policysocial-context/22344-study-reveals-shocking-rise-in-federal-disaster-relief-costs.html) shows, increased rapidly from 2000 to 2009, and even more in this decade’s first four years, to “at least $136 billion”.

The second category of costs, for mitigation, are at present very difficult to compute because most action is still in the planning stage. This site maps out which states are in planning mode and intend to take action in the future. These would be things like building levees and sea walls, cutting brush and fire lanes in the forests, installing storm shelters in buildings (c2es.org/us-states-regions/policy-maps/adaptation).

There is a third category of costs, seldom mentioned, but perhaps even more important than the first two, which address the symptoms of climate change.

This third category then describes what we are doing to reduce the problem itself. And in the absence of state and national policies to address this, the computation is simple. The “cost” is the difference in subsidies going to fossil fuels, and those going to renewable energy sources. And that difference is negative! That is, we are paying to make the problem worse, not to solve it.

JOEL OLSON

Meteorologist,

NOAA, retired

Red Earth Group,

Sierra Club

Moore

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Protect your home from wildfires

    To most people, fuel is what you put into your gas tank. To firefighters, it means something altogether different. To people who make a living putting out fires, fuel is that material that feeds wildfires — and there is an abundance of it ...

    April 12, 2014

  • League of Women Voters meeting

    Editor, The Transcript: On Saturday, May 10, the Norman League of Women Voters will hold its annual meeting at the Memorial Presbyterian Church, 601 24th Ave. SW, Norman, OK, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm....

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Why Comcast-Time Warner deal makes sense

    Say this about the deal announced Thursday for Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable: It’s big. Big price tag of $45 billion. Big combined subscriber base of 30 million households. And big risk of a veto from government antitrust regulators....

    April 12, 2014

  • Solid evidence within ice record

    In his November 10 Letter, Gary Reynolds misstated information in the October 27 op-ed by Catherine Hobbs, “New report says global warming is “unequivocal.” Mr. Reynolds incorrectly stated that Dr. Hobbs cited evidence from the 2007 UN ...

    April 12, 2014

Video
Facebook