Rich Lowry downplays the threat posed by global warming in a recent column (Dec. 28).
However, in its report “Catastrophe Modeling and Climate Change,” Lloyd’s of London states that the eight inches of sea-level rise off the tip of Manhattan increased Superstorm Sandy’s surge losses by 30 percent, and that “further increases in sea level in this region may non-linearly increase the loss potential from similar storms.”
This statement is profoundly disquieting when one considers that the United States’ Fourth National Climate Assessment projects oceans to rise by one to four feet by the end of this century and that “a rise by as much as eight feet cannot be ruled out.” Twenty-five Atlantic and Gulf Coast cities are already experiencing accelerating rates of daily tidal flooding, and sea-level rise is expected to be above the global average in these regions.
It’s also important to look beyond our borders. Sea level rise is caused by the warming of the oceans and the melting of land ice. Rapidly melting Himalayan glaciers feed rivers that sustain 1.65 billion people.
And try telling the people of small island nations like Fiji and the Marshall Islands, which are being swallowed by the sea, that the climate crisis isn’t existential.
Urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions and funding adaptations should be top priorities for every politician who is concerned about national security and global stability.
Hales Corners, Wis.