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Massachusetts needs a climate plan

IT IS gratifying to read that the Netherlands, Germany and other nations have planned for the impacts of climate change, such as increased heat, storms, and sea-level rise. (“Europe’s waterways could save Boston,” Ideas, Nov. 22). Massachusetts, however, has done little. The Massachusetts House of Representatives has failed to pass legislation sent over twice by the Senate that would require the Bay State to prepare a comprehensive plan to manage adaptation to climate change.

A warmer climate could produce increased sea-level rise and coastal erosion, more frequent and severe droughts and flooding, or just plain weird weather. Whatever will happen, it’s time now for Massachusetts to plan for what was previously unexpected and manage what is now unavoidable.


In the three years since Superstorm Sandy, our conversations about climate change have taken a new direction. The current challenge is not so much about saving the planet from heat-trapping gases as it is about saving all of us from a warming planet. Adaptation to climate change is not throwing in the towel but rather facing the realities of coping with and adapting to its effects.

With so much carbon pollution already in the air and our traditional fossil fuel production and use patterns locked in, we have no choice but to live with and plan for its consequences.

Jack Clarke
Director of Public Policy
Mass Audubon