The climate threat remains

Times Union: 

THE ISSUE:

While governments and society are focused on other issues, the planet continues to warm dangerously.

THE STAKES:

The window for averting the most dire consequences grows ever narrower.

There's a poignant symbolism in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision this past week to pull the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act from the November ballot. It speaks to how we — humans in general and Americans in particular — seem to think we can deal with climate change.

What, we will all be wondering soon, was so pressing that we let global warming reach the point of no return?

Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge deal, infecting more than 17 million people and killing 674,000 so far. Economies are struggling, millions are jobless, the very nature of human interaction has been altered. We don't know when this will end or what further toll it will take.

So Mr. Cuomo's decision is certainly understandable, especially in the face of White House and Senate indifference to the problems of state and local governments. How can a state in fiscal crisis afford to borrow billions for a problem that seems years away?

Yet how can our nation ignore a problem that is slowly but surely growing more certain, and dire, as we fail to address it? We focus on the fighting the fire on Main Street while the dam at the edge of town is crumbling. Read more>>