Letter to the editor: Climate change affects all

To the editor:

I was pleased to read, in Wednesday’s Journal-World, that the Planning Department will compile a climate change adaptation and mitigation plan. This plan is long overdue and should be completed expeditiously. The climate emergency will not wait.

Climate chaos is not just another “issue.” It is affecting every aspect of life. It is about housing and human rights: Displaced people are already arriving from the fire-ravaged West, inundated coastlines and desiccated Central America. It impacts public health: Extreme heat is the leading weather-related cause of death, and “climate anxiety” is a growing mental health concern. It affects the economy: Deluge and drought are causing crops to fail worldwide, and farm commodity prices are trending upward. It is about infrastructure: Storm drains must handle increased runoff, and delivery of clean water to residences and industry is more uncertain. And it is an emergency management challenge, with storms becoming more frequent and more severe.

So, while the Planning Department is an appropriate lead agency, this effort must involve all of local government and the residents it serves. And it must happen very soon indeed.

Joe Harrington,



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