The future has arrived

This year’s climate report will be reality for the next climate report.

More and more of the predicted impacts of global warming are now becoming a reality.

For instance, the 2014 assessment forecast that coastal cities would see more flooding in the coming years as sea levels rose. That’s no longer theoretical: Scientists have now documented a record number of “nuisance flooding” events during high tides in cities like Miami and Charleston, S.C.

“High tide flooding is now posing daily risks to businesses, neighborhoods, infrastructure, transportation, and ecosystems in the Southeast,” the report says.

Can they all move to Oklahoma? Would that work?

The United States military has long taken climate change seriously, both for its potential impacts on troops and infrastructure around the world and for its potential to cause political instability in other countries.

Hmm. Isn’t that unpatriotic, unTrumpian, anti-MAGA? Shouldn’t the military be ignoring climate change on the grounds that it’s Fake News?

The previous assessment warned that few states and cities were taking steps to adapt to the impacts of climate change. That’s slowly changing, the new report finds. More and more communities are taking measures such as preserving wetlands along the coasts to act as buffers against storms.

But outside of a few places in Louisiana and Alaska, few coastal communities are rethinking their development patterns in order to avoid the impacts from rising seas and severe weather that the report says are surely coming.

Not building new houses and condo buildings at the edge of the rising sea would seem to be quite a basic step, but apparently it’s beyond us.

The report warns that the country is particularly unprepared for the upheavals that will come as rising sea levels swamp coastal cities: “The potential need for millions of people and billions of dollars of coastal infrastructure to be relocated in the future creates challenging legal, financial, and equity issues that have not yet been addressed.”

And, at this rate, never will be.

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