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Conservatives Address Climate Change

If I were to list three pillars of a political foundation that were …

1. Limited government
2. Accountability
3. Free enterprise

… there would be little question that the organization is most likely Republican. All three are part of the Republican Platform, no doubt.

Now, what if I added a fourth pillar …

4. Environmental stewardship.

Well, WHAT?

There goes the idea that they are Conservative and/or Republican, right?


This is a subject that is very important to me, personally. So important that if I were a one-issue person (I’m not), this would be my issue. I have often thought that the devastating effects of climate change are one of the issues that hardened my Independent status.

So when I found this website [1], I was thrilled to see that there are conservatives that understand climate change is real and a growing crisis that will continue to have ever-more devastating effects on every aspect of daily life if we don’t settle on real solutions. I was thrilled to learn that I am not alone in my belief that it’s a fundamentally conservative issue.

There is ample data … hundreds of studies that explain the costs associated with sea-level rise due to climate change, and the human impact is unimaginable. I can’t even begin to think of the problems that will result from the sheer number of people who become displaced migrants looking for land, and taxing the facilities of the countries they will be forced to flee to.

From Science News [2]:

Sea level rise this century could flood coastal areas that are now home to 340 million to 480 million people, researchers from Climate Central, a research and advocacy group, report. That’s roughly triple the number of people estimated to be at risk using previous coastal elevation data. [emphasis added]

Also this from Science News [3]:

Global losses from coastal flooding may surpass $1 trillion annually by 2050 unless coastal cities prepare, Hallegatte’s team says. That projection is actually conservative because it doesn’t include damage from other climate-related flood risks such as heavier rains and stronger storms (SN: 6/27/15, p. 9). Last year, Hurricane Harvey’s extreme rainfall, probably fueled by climate change, caused $125 billion in flood losses in Houston (SN: 1/20/18, p. 6). And in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hurricane Maria caused $90 billion in damages, mostly from winds. [emphasis added]

 And this [4]:

We found that the estimated amount of land inundated is between 26,000 and 76,000 km2 for the US coast in the year 2100.

We found that the estimated population at risk due to land inundation is between 1.8 and 7.4 million for the US coast in the year 2100.

We found that the estimated loss of GDP due to land inundation is between 70 and 289 billion USD/year for the US coast in the year 2100. [emphasis added]

And this [5]:

“In May, Louisiana released a $40 billion plan called LA SAFE to build needed levees, restore shorelines and, if necessary, relocate entire communities at risk from flooding. The first LA SAFE projects are slated for completion in 2022.” [emphasis added]

Another aspect of climate change that, without a doubt, is what I believe is the most dangerous is the lack of potable water suitable to sustain both life and crops. I must admit this issue is not 100 percent climate-related. While I am not diving into the problems the bottled water industry are causing, it does not matter who you are, where you are, rich, poor … Republican, Democrat or … whatever.

If you have no food, you starve and die … if you have no water, you’ll die faster by hemorrhaging through every orifice. There is no smooth political way around it. I personally believe that, God protect us, if there is ever a third World War, it will be due to a lack of water.

As it is now, here in Virginia, the Potomac Aquifer is in trouble. We’re drawing more out of it than is being replaced by natural infiltration. It has caused and will continue to cause significant land subsidence in key areas.

Last year, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District started a pilot program called SWIFT, [6] Basically, they take wastewater and treat is just like they would before discharging it back into a river. But rather than discharging it to a river, they pump it back into the Potomac Aquifer to recharge the groundwater in an effort to counteract over withdrawal. It’s a process they have used in Arizona and Nevada for many years.

And lest you see this and think … EEW GROSS …

… a little primer on water. Wastewater from homes, businesses, and institutions goes through big pipes to wastewater treatment facilities. The treatment facilities are regulated by DEQ. The “waste” is mostly removed and the “effluent” is treated to state standards and then discharged back into rivers.

So basically (and for example) when someone flushes a toilet in West Virginia (the headwaters of the James River are there), that water is treated and goes back into the James River where it is withdrawn downstream for water intake facilities who treat the river water and pipe it to your home or business. That is what comes out of your tap (unless your water comes from groundwater), and it is safe and clean. I sincerely hope the SWIFT program is successful.

That little water info aside, someone had better start thinking about what we’ll do when coastal communities become inundated due to sea-level rise, while the middle of the country is drying out because of a lack of rainfall.

This is not a subject that should be politicized. But, as with many things, what should be and what is … are different animals. Thankfully, there are some conservative people [7] who have also seen the issue for what it is, and are using the conservative principals to address it.

Hopefully, it will catch on.