Snow Problem, Part 2: Politics of Global Warming

When will global warming really become a political issue? Maybe when weather disasters leave politicians scrambling? That's the gist behind this Atlantic post from Alexis Madrigal:

What you need to know is that your city -- pretty much wherever it is -- was built for a climate that it may no longer have. That's going to mean tough commutes during the winter and spending more money on air conditioning in the summer. It's going to mean that your city shuts down more often because some freaky thing happened that no one can remember happening in their lifetimes. It's going to mean the power's going to go out because the electric system in your area wasn't designed to handle the stresses it will be put under. Cities will have to get less efficient and more resilient. Redundancies will have to be built into systems that previously seemed to work just fine.

This is how climate change will cost us all money. Maybe more importantly, these kinds of storms can cost politicians elections, which might be the only thing that will start pushing them to make the hard, long-term decisions to adapt to a changing climate. And when the costs of those changes become apparent maybe climate legislation won't seem like a strange, extraneous tax but like the necessary corrective that it is.