What should we do about the rising cost of National Flood Insurance for homes that face rising seas due to climate change? This is not a future problem. It is happening now. The problem is very troubling, and the response of many people to it is even more troubling. The NY Times printed an article about this insurance issue: “When Rising Seas Transform Risk Into Certainty.” People are losing their homes which they have owned for decades because they can’t afford the insurance bill. In many cases these homes were purchased long before climate change was on anyone’s radar screen. Most of these homes are not oceanfront mansions. These homes can be dozens of miles inland in places like Florida.
This is a ticking time bomb that deserves far more attention than it is getting. National Flood Insurance is a government run program that began in 1968. The reader comment section for this NY Times article carries a common theme. People are thinking why should my taxes pay to help someone who lives in a flood area near the coast? It’s not my fault they bought a home in a floodplain. I was smart enough to buy a house on a mountain, and besides, climate change is probably not real.
To all those who live on a mountain, ask yourself, do I drive a car? Do I get electricity from a fossil fuel power plant? Do I purchase products that were manufactured or shipped using fossil fuels? The answer to these questions is yes, we all do.
We all breath the same air. We all purchase things which do not include the true cost of climate change in the price. This means we’re all profiting off the misfortune of people living in areas which are disproportionately affected by climate change. We all own this bill, and this bill is about to come due. We need to shore up our country for the coming storm called climate change as much as we need to stop doing things that intensify that storm. Most of all we need to offer a helping hand to those who are hurting because of global warming. Climate change has no boundary.