Tuesday, December 20, 2016
"I'm a Republican, but I also realize...the sea level is rising" - Mayor, Tybee Island, Georgia
So much is put into that one statement. Mayor Jason Buelterman of Tybee Island, Georgia admits that Republicans are sticking their heads into the ground when it comes to global warming. Still seen as a hoax, fellow Republicans such as Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over their clean air plans.
Since when do we need to be saved from clean air?
Tybee Island is suffering the effects of rising sea levels caused by rising temperatures across the globe, to the point their city council voted unanimously in April to accept a plan that addresses the risks from rising seas over the next 50 years. Buelterman may find himself excommunicated from the Republican party.
According to NOAA, Tybee Island has experience a sea-level rise of 10 inches. And the community is a low-lying barrier island (which means it protects Savannah from hurricanes) and is especially vulnerable to flooding.
Congress has turned a deaf ear to communities asking for help in guidance and funds to pay for pumps and road improvements to buy some time. In a New York Times post in September, reporter Stephen Morton said that Congress has even tried to block military plans to combat the problem at numerous bases, naval bases most importantly.
With the new Republican regime about to sit upon the throne, it doesn't seem likely that anything in Washington will change. At least not until the Chesapeake Bay is lapping at the door.