The more you study climate change and sea level rise, the more you realize that they’re political issues as well as practical, environmental threats. This point was hit home yet again in a New York Times report that found several conservative states at great risk from rising seas applied for federal funding to increase their defenses against flooding without actually using the terms “climate change” or “sea level rise.”
Texas produced a 306 page application for a share of $16 billion Congress set aside in 2018 to help states deal with climate change impacts without a single mention of climate change or sea level rise. South Carolina didn’t use the terms in its application, while Louisiana didn’t mention “climate change” until the last page of its proposal.
While it’s commendable that the states are actually taking steps to prepare for more intense heat and flooding due to global warming (another divisive term, I know), their reluctance to be frank about the issue and use the terms “climate change” and “sea level rise flooding”, are a tad cowardly. The public in their states deserve the truth, even if they’ve been conditioned to deny it. Real leaders would give them the education about climate change that they clearly need to make informed decisions that just might help them to participate in the process of finding solutions and protect their own financial futures.
Ultimately, the absence of the terms “climate change” and “sea level rise” from the funding proposals is a moot point. The atmosphere will continue heating up and the seas will continue to rise and flood valuable real estate regardless of climate change denialists’ inability to utter them.