Friday, May 30, 2014

Ripton versus climate change

The National Climate Assessment has appeared, and it has challenging news for Ripton.  Climate change is going to hit us hard, and is already hitting us.

According to the Addison Independent's summary, climate change impacts appear in a variety of ways:
The Northeast will be plagued by heat waves, heavy downpours and sea level rise. 
The changing climate will greatly affect the maple syrup, timber and seafood industries. 
States with aging infrastructures, like Vermont, will be further damaged by more frequent and more damaging floods 
Boreal forests will recede to higher elevations
Those of us who remember tropical storm Irene will find special meaning in this extra point:

The report also noted that states with populations centered along rivers and in flood plains are particularly vulnerable to increased precipitation.
“In mountainous regions, including much of West Virginia and large parts of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire, more intense precipitation events will mean greater flood risk, particularly in valleys, where people, infrastructure, and agriculture tend to be concentrated,” the report states. 

Ripton's own Bill McKibben appears in the article.
“It was one more rock on the pile; there has been a steady stream of giant reports dating back to 1995 and all have said about the same thing,” McKibben said. “This one just adds that climate change is no longer a future threat — since we haven’t done anything about it, it’s now a very real part of our life.”

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