Column: Tampa Bay should work together on climate change

The challenges ahead from climate change are sobering. At least 13 federal agencies reported in the Fourth National Climate Assessment on the effects on sea level rise, hurricanes and other real dangers. And as the Tampa Bay Times editorialized, it’s grim news for Floridians.

First, the assessment reconfirms greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are the primary cause of rising global temperatures. It plainly states “there are no credible alternative human or natural explanations supported by the observational evidence.” Simply put, our climate is warming, and carbon pollution is the culprit.

Second, climate change is not some distant threat. We are already paying for it, and if we don’t act now, our children and grandchildren will pay a much greater toll. The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of action. Climate change promises more extreme weather — intense storms, rainfall events, droughts and wildfires, extreme heat, worsened allergies, intensified toxic algal blooms and an increase in mosquito-borne diseases.

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