In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney jokingly upbraided his opponent for campaigning on climate change and the impact it’s having on the planet.
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney said to a mix of laughter and boos from the assembled crowd. “My promise is to help you and your family.”
This column avoids politics, but we are equipped to speak about science.
Sea level rise is a real problem. The oceans are rising as the planet warms up, in part because the volume of water is expanding due to the extra heat, and in part due to the ongoing melting of polar ice.
The composition of our atmosphere has changed as a result of human activity on the planet — changed to the point where the climate itself has responded with its own changes.
These changes may well affect our ability to produce adequate food for a growing global population while putting our national commercial infrastructure at greater risk to extremes in the day-to-day weather, to name just two possible ramifications.
Climate change is a serious issue, and policymakers would do well to plan for the challenges it poses to our way of life.