Editorial: Face facts — Climate Change is real

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The earth is warming, the seas are rising and if communities are to cope with what’s to come, they need to sit down and seriously talk things through.

Climate change deniers need to take their heads out of the sand, stop politicizing the issue as if it’s an opinion to be argued, and listen to the people who actually know what they’re talking about — the scientists. 

July and August of this year just tied for the two hottest months on record. That’s not an opinion, or a guess, or a fabrication. It is scientific fact confirmed by no less an authority than NASA. So is the fact that 2016 will undoubtedly break 2015’s record for hottest year ever, which broke 2014’s record for hottest year ever.

Anyone sensing a trend here? 

And yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, the climate change ostriches would have you believe the global warming almost every expert in the world acknowledges is just some hoax invented by the liberal left. Apparently, they haven’t noticed the glaciers dramatically receding all around the world; the huge ice shelves disappearing off Antarctica; the routine urban flooding in low-lying cities like Miami Beach; the fact that ships can now sail to the North Pole; and countless other phenomena occurring all over the globe.

More likely, that lunatic fringe is being intentionally ignorant, for what purpose only they can imagine.

Climate change is no longer just a distant phenomenon. Not so subtle changes have reached our doorstep. Salt marshes are collapsing and barrier beaches eroding, king tides now routinely wash over roads and parking lots, and farmers watch crops wither and dry.

The good news is that most have moved beyond denial and a belated push is on to stem this tide and brace for impact.

Dozens of Bristol homes were recently signed up for Solarize Bristol, and hundreds more around the state joined the program to subsidize solar panels to help residents reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The Bristol Town Council just approved replacing all street lights with efficient LED bulbs.

The United States’ first offshore wind farm is about to begin churning out the watts off Block Island and a big new replacement Portsmouth turbine is now spinning just up the road from Portsmouth Abbey’s old reliable. 

Westport now buys most of its municipal power from a nearby solar farm and hopes to build one of its own. 

And in Tiverton, the state is moving some Seapowet marshes uphill from rising tides that threaten to drown them.

It’s all overwhelming, but hand-wringing or waiting for Congress to lead are no longer options.

Individuals and towns must mount their own “homeland defense” and discussions like these are a great place to start.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc., email mrego@eastbaynewspapers.com.