Democracy Now! has coverage of the "1,000 year flood."
The irony is that of Boulder, home of climate change experts and environmentalists, being so hard hit. Colorado politicians and many citizens have been indifferent to the possible effects of climate change, perhaps figuring stuff will happen to others but not to them while they enjoy the money rolling into the state. The governor, who had been to the failed Copenhagen climate conference before he became governor and who came off very green then, later drank fracking fluid to demonstrate to the public that it was harmless. Now, of course, many more Coloradans will be able to enjoy fracking fluid in their drinking water. The place is lousy with oil and gas wells, and the water is filthy, not just with the usual stuff in floodwaters but petro-and other chemicals.
I worry about the impact we personally are having with all the flying we do, but like so many others we have not modified our habits in that regard, although we are ecologically pure otherwise with our all solar home, one car, eating mostly local foods, etc. (Of course there is our other life in Seattle, but that is pretty modest, actually.) [To be 100% honest, we do spend a lot of money on eating out and so on and have a car there, too.] We haven't gotten a hybrid, because we figured that buying a cheap older car was better (and cheaper) than a new car. But yesterday I tanked up our 2002 Camry, only 3/4 of a tank, and it cost $61.00. We pay about 30 cents more a gallon for gas than in Seattle, and everyone here complains about that, of course. But we are in the middle of the Pacific and might reasonably expect that many things are costlier here.
So energy prices continue to soar, and many on the island have located in places that demand a car for everyone, or maybe a truck, and miles and miles of travel to stores, state and county services, schools, recreational facilities, doctors and other amenities. We in Hilo get blamed by the people in Puna for all the driving they have to do, as if we were a luxurious place! We Hiloites, unlike most of the people in Puna, have county water piped right into our homes. And sewers! How effete can you get! It's all relative, as they say.
When we moved to the Big Island we knew we weren't going to get stuck out there, because the trends were clear, even 17 years ago. Many services people had anticipated then have still not arrived in Puna and other outlying districts, and this makes people angry. I'd like to see more amenities in Puna, if only to cut down on the amount of traffic in Hilo town.
Eco-activist Bill McKibben says this is the moment for Obama to step forward and take the lead on climate change issues.As McKibben says, we have to think both locally and also in larger terms about how we intend to deal with climate change and the woes we are suffering already.