Save NYC from Flooding: Stock up on Fluorescent Light Bulbs!

The Times promoted another apocalyptic global warming study by a left-wing activist group, Union of Concerned Scientists, on the front page of Thursday's Metro section.

In his leadfor "Study Predicts Floods in City If the Climate Gets Warmer," reporter Anthony DePalma claimed:

"By the end of this century, 100-year floods could hit New York City every 10 years, Long Island lobsters could disappear and New York apples could be hard to come by if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released yesterday by a group of scientists and economists.

"'The Northeast can anticipate substantial - and often unwelcome or dangerous - changes during the rest of this century,' concluded the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which examined the impact of global warming on the region. 'The very character of the Northeast is at stake.'

"The report, which covers nine states, is the product of a two-year collaboration between the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy group, and a team of several dozen independent scientists and economists."

The text box indulged in similar fear-mongering: "In one projection, rising sea levels and swamped New York subways."

With "advocacy group," DePalma improved on the Times' previous benign labeling of left-wing UCS as a "scientific group" (you don't have to be a scientist to join). UCS lobbied against Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative and nuclear power. It was formed in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War.

But DePalma also forwarded the ludicrous suggestion that this apocalyptic chain of events can be averted by a few soothingly simple steps:

"The report did not include an analysis of the potential cost to business and consumers of the efforts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But Rohit T. Aggarwala, New York City's director of long-term planning and stability, said at the New York news conference that cutting carbon emissions would not necessarily have a negative cost.

"Mr. Aggarwala said that steps New York had already taken would improve the quality of life in the city and make New York more competitive. He said those efforts ranged from the relatively simple, like promoting the use of compact fluorescent light bulbs, to long-range strategic initiatives like congestion pricing.

DePalma concluded with a plug: "The full report on climate change in the Northeast is available at the Union of Concerned Scientists' Web site,"

So changing your light bulb will stop New York City from flooding?