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Douglas: We can’t afford to deny climate change any longer

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Douglas: We can't afford to deny climate change any longer

Guest Column President Trump recently told a Florida audience: “The left’s agenda isn’t about protecting the environment. It’s about punishing America.” These words echo the claim that Democrats would go too far in responding to climate change. They would “smother the economy,” as a Trump campaign spokesman put it.

Such thinking overlooks the cost of a warming planet, evident in the “hyperactive” hurricane season, Sally stalling last week over parts of Alabama and Florida, its slow, devastating pace a reflection of climate change. Or the wildfires bringing ruin to the West. At one point, the Bear Fire in California burned through 230,000 acres overnight.

For perspective, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park covers 33,000 acres.

Or the recent heavy rain in the Akron area testing the new $1 billion stormwater system. As temperatures rise, the atmosphere absorbs more water, leading to greater downpours. The physics also means drier lands, adding fuel for wildfires.

Yet, more than the immense cost, the president and others overlook the opportunity in crafting an effective response. An appropriately ambitious approach wouldn’t smother the economy. It would prove a boon to economic activity, job creation and the quality of our lives.

All of this is described in a recent report from […]

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