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Poor Mitt, Bad Timing

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Alamy
Alamy

Poor Mitt Romney. The Republican presidential candidate never seems to catch a break. During his nomination acceptance speech, he could have poked fun at Barack Obama's environmental policy by declaring the president won't let us cut down trees or allow farmers to pump water from an endangered minnow's habitat.

Instead, in a case of exquisitely bad timing, he mocked the president's climate change stance, making special reference to concern about rising sea levels.

Wouldn't you know it, the day before he chose to ridicule Obama about the oceanic threat, a well-documented report was released showing that our national seashores along the Atlantic coast are already losing ground to rising sea levels. Furthermore, researchers project that conditions will only get worse if heat trapping pollutants are not significantly reduced.

The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council produced the report, which notes that the majority of land in the national seashores is less than three feet above sea level. That is unsettling, the report says, because if global warming is allowed to continue at its current rate, the ocean is likely to rise three feet by the end of the century. Already, roads leading to the seashores have had to be repeatedly restored after washouts, and in a few instances abandoned altogether. Should proposed regulations to curb human generated heat trapping pollutants not be put in place, the report projects loss of bridges to the national seashores, extensive beach erosion, major reductions in wildlife, and destruction of barrier islands, many of which are protective storm buffers for heavily populated coastal areas. Yet Romney is against most pending regulations to further curb greenhouse gas emissions.

It is a politically untimely posture for Mitt since the threatened national seashores mentioned in the report are in New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Romney is not going to win New York or Massachusetts, and he doesn't have to worry about Georgia, but what about the swing states of Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia?

The Republican presidential nominee quipped at the end of his acceptance speech that "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. My promise--is to help you and your family."

Poor Mitt.