Climate-change challenges locally and nationally

Trump will continue to ignore NOAA

A minor agency like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration can have only minimal impact on the Trump administration’s climate policy (“Climate crisis at the North Pole,” Dec. 24). The leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Interior will ignore any findings from NOAA that don’t align with the fossil fuel agenda.

As long as President Trump’s people are in office, progress on climate issues at the federal level will be halted. The administration’s embrace of “energy dominance” evinces a belief system committed to exhaustive exploitation of fossil fuels, regardless of the environmental cost. And the Republican donor base has no appetite for clean energy.

Trump’s worldview prioritizes economic growth, getting the best deal, and power over one’s peers. But climate change demands cooperative solutions. It would be great if research from NOAA could hold sway over the ideologues in power, but it won’t happen. The science doesn’t matter to them.

Frederick Hewett


‘Sand in the gears’ isn’t enough


Yeah, okay, let’s put some “Sand in the gears of climate change” (Editorial, Dec. 15). That will stave off the destruction of beaches, wetlands, and the towns behind them — at least until we get a hurricane here that has an impact like that of Hurricane Sandy in New York.

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But in addition to shuffling sand around, Massachusetts (and other states) must urgently address the root of the problem: human-caused climate change. For starters, that entails prohibiting new gas pipelines, greatly speeding up offshore wind generation, removing barriers to increased solar energy, electrifying transportation and building heating, and enacting a carbon tax to put financial oomph behind the needed transition.

As the Globe rightly notes, long-term planning is needed. We made a good start in 2008 with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), which mandates a huge, rapid reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions. But Massachusetts is barely on track to reach that law’s 2020 goals and has no real plan for getting to its 2050 requirements. Passage of Senator Marc Pacheco and Representative Frank Smizik’s little-noticed bill, the GWSA Implementation Act (S.1880, Sec. 8/H.2149), would be an important step forward. This act would put into motion a state-sponsored study to figure out exactly what actions we can take to achieve the GWSA’s goals. The sooner we start on that, the more likely we can keep the sands on our beaches.

Larry Rosenberg