Letter to the Editor

Climate change is here

San Luis ObispoJune 23, 2014 

Well, it’s happened even earlier than I thought it would. According to the article published June 18, (To steer clear of the waves, Hwy. 1 could get new route), Caltrans plans to move nearly three miles of Highway 1 500 feet inland to protect it from rising sea levels and coastal erosion.

In one spot, waves break over barriers during periods of high swells, saturating the highway and creating traffic hazards. This project, planned since 2001, is expected to cost $57 million .

The rise in sea levels from climate change is only 8 inches now. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, scientists have greater than 90 percent confidence that global mean sea levels will rise as much as 6.6 feet by 2100 due to ocean warming, ice sheet loss and glacial melting. The only way to stop the progression is by reducing the growing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that are causing global warming.

Climate change is here, and we are already seeing the costly effects along our coast. There is still time to slow the inevitable consequences if we act quickly. One effective tactic to combating rising sea levels would be to lower CO2 emissions through a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend program as promoted by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

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