It is important to be adaptive and resilient. We must cope with the detrimental effects of climate change that are already baked in — coastal inundation and worse droughts, floods and other dangerous weather events. We will not be able to reduce our carbon emissions and stop the planet’s warming if we don’t do so.
When fossil fuel-friendly Republican Sen. Marco Rubio tells Floridians that they must simply “adapt” to sea level rise (how? How about growing fins and teeth?), he’s trying to sound as if he’s got a meaningful solution when, in fact, he’s offering only empty rhetoric and a license for polluters to continue with business as usual. It’s a delay tactic.
What about geoengineering. What about geoengineering?
Unintended consequences are almost certain to ensure that we continue to screw up the planet. Geoengineering is also a license to continue carbon pollution. There’s a reason Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO and Donald Trump’s secretary of state, has dismissed the climate crisis as simply an “engineering problem.” If we can simply clean up our act down the road, why not continue to burn fossil fuels? This, too, is a delay tactic — one that buys time for polluters to continue to make billions in profits as we mortgage the future habitability of the planet.