Letter: Leaders ignore drought dangers
Now that forests are dying and burning, glaciers melting, oceans becoming acetic and rising, storms, floods, droughts and heat waves intensifying faster and sooner than expected, some of us finally get it. Environmentalist Bill McKibben and other scientists have been sounding the alarm for years about carbon exceeding 350 ppm in the atmosphere. It seems our chickens have come home to roost. Climate change is here.
U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chairman Rajendra K. Pachauri recently announced that climate change is already having "sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world's oceans," and likely to grow worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change, he says. If we continue on this path, the world's water and food supplies will be increasingly at risk, and the poorest nations will suffer mass starvations and migrations.
While "Drill, baby, drill" is the rally cry of the Republican party, scientists warn 80 percent of the fossil fuel reserves have to stay in the ground to prevent catastrophic planet warming. Don't hold your breath on that happening, as the reserves are valued at $20 trillion. When has big oil ever considered anything other than profit? Our future looks bleak unless subsidies are diverted from oil over to renewable energy.
Scientists predict more of the same on local levels, only worse. For Arizona, in a 15-year drought already, temperatures will rise, increasing both demand for water and its rate of evaporation. Despite the fact Prescott was rated seventh on Smart Growth America's list of Most Sprawling Cities, our shortsighted City Council continues to approve any and all developments.
We need to think globally and act locally by ridding the city of its myopic leaders.