Editorial

Reporter editorial: Here. Now.

Sometimes you have to wonder how many times some people have to walk into a wall before they realize, “Hey, that wall is the reason I have a black eye.”

Same with human responsibility for global warming causing climate change and threatening our natural environment.

Islanders have a clear example of how it is affecting their home, with rising sea levels. In the Reporter this week there’s a story about the state putting up funds to elevate roads and the dock at South Ferry on the North Haven side.

Twice last year, North Ferry had to shut down its boats to deal with docking difficulties because of rising tides.

A map of warming temperatures across the United States in The Washington Post last September shows that all of Long Island has already approached a significant threshold in how scientists measure climate change and its future impact.

In our ugly political landscape, the subject of climate change has become warped by some who proclaim that it is either a “hoax” — President Trump blames China — or exaggerated and no one should pay attention to it.

Some issues argued among elected officials have two sides to them. This one doesn’t.

Those following the president’s lead on this should be voted out of office. They are being willfully ignorant about something that’s a serious threat to all of us, here and worldwide, that must be addressed with urgency.

This is not — and should not be — a red or blue issue. We need our elected and appointed officials to act. If they can’t, or won’t, or want to pretend the issue was invented by some Chinese cabal, they should not have a seat at the table.

We can put up with a lot in our representative democracy. Stupidity — or ignoring reality for whatever reasons — are not things we should ever have to put up with.

At a G7 meeting in France, a session on climate change produced agreement that the raging fires in the Amazon rainforest — rightly called the world’s lungs — must be addressed immediately. President Trump didn’t attend that meeting, ceding American leadership on this critical issue.

Thankfully, not all members of the president’s party agree with him: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said climate change is already underway, that human activity is to blame. Mr. Romney’s common-sense position is that a carbon tax on each ton of carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuel should, in part, be channeled back to coal workers in rural communities who will suffer as the nation moves to cleaner power.

As part of its effort to map the world’s fastest-warming places, temperature databases kept by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA show the Northeast is warming especially fast.

Climate change is happening now. It is not a future event.