I really appreciated your article about the plight of Phoenix (HCN, 4/16/07). I think it is clear that climate shifting is occurring rapidly. Rather than arguing about the causes and about how to diminish carbon burning, it seems more fruitful to look at the anticipated consequences, and develop reasonable policy, behavioral and legislative responses. Even if people do all the things the experts suggest, we are not going to make it cooler quickly. Maybe we can arrest the rate of change, but we are in a warming cycle.
The Northwest will be drier. Montana will have more fires. Ski season will be shorter. If there is not going to be more water in the Southwest, should any more people move there? How about legislation that by 2015, private swimming pools must be decommissioned, and all pools be public and private group places? (What a community builder!) Or, by 2015 all homes must be re-plumbed to allow use of graywater on the mandated water-wise gardens, and on the vegetable plots we will all need to plant in order to cut down on petroleum products used to transport food? Or, by 2015 no one will be allowed to commute more than five miles to school or work unless on public, mass transportation, or bicycle/foot? We have to allow some time for policy to shift because of the major lifestyle adjustments required, but if we wait until there is no water it will cause even more social disruption.
I am not pleased that certain island countries and coastal cities will be flooded, but instead of trying to turn the clock back, would it not be more productive to look ahead, and help those persons productively relocate rather than joining the refugee community when it is too late?