Year 2, Month 5, Day 12: Pretty Soon You’re Talking Real Money

In a business section column in the San Francisco Chronicle, Andrew Ross skirts discussion of climate and energy, instead averring that (gasp!) the deficit is the biggest threat we face as a nation. Sigh. Time to drag out “quibbling over the cost of sandbags” again.

Sent May 3:

Mr. Ross’ analysis touches briefly on the elements that comprise the most significant threat to our country’s long-term security, but neglects them in favor of advocating for deficit reduction. Now, I’m all for reducing the deficit, and the Department of Defense, the biggest public sector spender, is ripe for massive cutting — but the plain and simple fact is that the devastating long-term effects of climate change will make deficit reduction (no matter where it happens) irrelevant. Without immediate steps to transform our energy economy and prepare for the consequences of climatic transformations we’ve already set in motion, no spending cuts will save us. Scientists have warned us over and over; we can no longer plead ignorance — and to resist spending on infrastructure development and disaster preparation will prove far more expensive in the long run. When floodwaters are rising is not the time to economize on sandbags.

Warren Senders

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