It’s often difficult to visualize what climate change-related disasters might look like, but the images pouring out of Japan are yet another reminder of the specter of storm surges supercharged by more powerful weather and rising seas, and even climate-change caused tsunamis. (All of America’s coastal cities are vulnerable to these impacts — including, in this remarkable animation, New York City.) Right on the heels of Brisbane, Snowpocalypse, and Australia’s record dust storms, we have yet another reminder of what an Earth transformed by climate change could look like.
At least one Chinese solar company is betting the solar boom will continue. On Thursday, JA Solar announced it will begin construction this year of a new factory that will have a capacity to manufacture 3,000 megawatts’ worth of photovoltaic cells a year, thanks in part to a government loan.
The choice is not, as liberals often maintain, between global warming apocalypse or mandating the widespread adoption of today’s solar, wind, and electric car technologies. Nor is the choice, as conservatives have argued, between an economy wrecked by liberal global warming policies or expanding drilling and nuclear power.
Let’s review. We just lived through the worst accidental oil leak in history. And we’re at the tail end of a summer of cataclysmic weather that top climate scientists tell us is a taste of the globally-warmed future. Yet the United States Senate failed even to pass a climate bill so tepid that it qualified as what a Republican (South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham) once would have described as “half-assed.”