Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Urgent need to address climate change

Two new reports by a leading international panel should put the task of addressing climate change on the nation's priority list. President Barack Obama has made a start by investing in cleaner energies and seeking to reduce global warming emissions of greenhouse gases. But the United States will need to do more and do it quickly to reduce the natural and human impacts of climate change that pose global safety threats in the near future.

The reports by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared flatly that "human influence on the climate system is clear" — a needed shot at critics who want to sidetrack the public debate over global warming with junk science instead of looking at real strategies for reducing the impact of rising temperatures. Into the second half of this century, the threats from climate change will be felt across the world. Rising sea levels will endanger coastal areas and island nations, putting at risk everything from the fresh drinking water supply to urban infrastructure. Extreme weather could cause a breakdown in the food supply, triggering hunger crises. And the populations of poorer nations in particular could see new threats from disease, the loss of marine life, drought and other changes. In an increasingly interconnected world, these are pressing dangers to global order and American security that call for a robust response.

The exhaustive reports by the world's leading climate science body, written by more than 300 authors from 70 countries, call for the world community to work together across a broad front to stem the worst effects of climate change. Nations already have prepared several levels of defense. Africa is strengthening its public health capacity. Europe and Asia are improving early-warning capabilities for natural disasters and better managing their coastal resources. North America is hardening its energy and flood control systems.

The panel struck a hopeful note in its latest report issued Sunday. While acknowledging that greenhouse emissions were rising faster than ever, experts said there was still time to act and called for a heightened sense of urgency from the world's political leaders. The challenge is to fold the piecemeal approaches by nations, states and cities into comprehensive global action toward investing in cleaner fuels.

Obama should follow through with the action plan on climate change he rolled out last year. Cleaner power plants and cars, more efficient appliances and construction, and investments in cleaner energy are critical areas for presidential leadership, especially given that Congress will not pass a climate bill any time soon. The administration also should press on the international front for a global climate pact in the next year. Using his executive power to address climate change at home will bolster the president's credibility with China, India and other countries. It also could provide an opening for the United States to create a $100 billion global climate fund it proposed in 2009. These are all ambitious efforts, but the risks are increasing, not going away.

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Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Editorial: Candor key step to restoring trust at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun the important work of rebuilding trust with its patients and the community following revelations of medical errors and other problems at its Heart Institute. CEO Dr. Jonathan Ellen candidly acknowledges...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18