In addition to the annual FEMA push for flood insurance, another government department, the GAO, or Government Accountability Office, is urging the White House to begin preparations for flooding, and other natural disasters that may be caused by global warming.
According to a GAO report, it is advisable for Congress and federal agencies to worth together with state and local governments in order to “develop a national strategic plan that will guide the nation’s efforts to adapt to a changing climate. In addition, John Stephenson, director of GAO’s natural resources and environment office, reported to a congressional panel that larger concentrations of greenhouse gases are likely to have significant effects, including threats to coastal areas from rising seas.
The GAO report also found that no coordinated national approach to dealing with these problems currently exists.
According to Stephenson, even though the government has been slow to take action, “Natural disasters such as floods, heat waves, droughts or hurricanes raised public awareness of the costs of potential climate change impacts.”
The GAO report came amid signs that more and more United States citizens are eschewing scientists’ warnings of impending catastrophe. A GAO survey of government officials found that money for climate change planning was extremely limited, as most agencies do not consider it to be a primary concern.
A Pew Research Center poll that was released last Thursday says that only 35 percent of American people feel global warming is a very serious problem – nine percent fewer than the results of a similar survey done in April, 2008.