Why can’t I be President and Order Everyone to Fix Global Warming? – It’s Just A Game.

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 9:01 pm

Politicians can’t effectively handle threats that have a long planning horizon.  Any attempt to address a very scary possibility will result in the politician being voted out of office as a wing-nut that isn’t paying attention to more immediate problems. Trying to pass broad, expensive-to-someone regulations give that someone an immediate incentive to spend money to confuse the issue and try to stop the regulations. It doesn’t matter that cutting soot emissions will save enormous amounts in health care later. Only a fraction of the population is willing to pay attention to the conduct of their politicians now for future benefits unless there has been a huge PR campaign. Usually the one financing the campaign isn’t the one with the greater community good in mind.

Community planners have a shot at effective long-range planning.  Since Community Planners take their jobs seriously and are usually in it because they love their communities they are willing to work at not getting snowed by special interests. Especially after Katrina, Community Planners can weigh the town survival against lower probability events. If higher precipitation might cause half of the downtown area to slide down the mountain they can see the benefit of increasing building code requirements.  Similarly, if higher water loads would just cause a couple of high-priced homes that would be covered by insurance to fall into the ocean but wouldn’t really effect the survival of the town, codes might not change. Community planners can do cost/benefit analyses for very small areas. 

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