Experiencing Climate Change

If you’ve being following my blog, you may have thought I’d fallen off a cliff. Luckily, that has not occurred! Instead, I spent a week in Duluth, MN, then returned home to host two sets of lovely house-guests, and I am only now catching up on “life.”

You might wonder why anyone would go to Duluth at the end of April. Good question. However, I wasn’t there for the weather. I was helping my mom post-shoulder surgery. Normally, I would visit during the summer. Spring is always iffy, but this year that was especially true because the Midwest has endured a winter from hell. NOAA declared it one of the coldest winters on record going back to 1895.

It is way past time for climate deniers to pull their heads out of their collective butts and confront reality. Climate change is not some far-flung theory about what might happen in the future; it’s a lot more serious than simply bringing everyone warmer weather (I wish). It is already happening in the here and now with devastating results. More regions of the U.S. are experiencing severe winters. In California, right now, heat waves and drought. have resulted in raging wildfires.  This is likely to be seen across the Southwest.  Florida is witnessing massive floods from too much rain (more than 2 feet in 24 hrs!) falling at one time. In the Northeast, more torrential rains and repeats of the flooding seen during Hurricane Sandy are anticipated.

Deniers claim we can’t afford to adopt reforms. Hello? I’d say it is already too expensive not to drastically change our behavior. More fires, more flooding, more snow, more cold, more heat waves cost us money, big money. And who is footing the bill? Taxpayers – and we all know that corporations are rarely good taxpayers.

When insurance companies are taking the threat of climate change seriously, it’s time for us to pay attention and demand that our politicians deal with this problem.  Even Jon Huntsman, a 2008 GOP presidential contender, gets it now and urges Republicans to become involved in addressing the problem.

So, what can regular citizens do?  There are a host of ways we can effect change.  College students are demanding that their schools divest from the fossil fuel industry: support them!  As voters, we can choose to vote only for candidates who take climate change seriously. Write politicians demanding that they address this problem. When they call you up or email you asking for money or your vote, ask what they are doing to slow down climate change. Contact companies that are especially bad polluters and/or deny climate change and demand that they change their ways or you won’t patronize them anymore (even if you no longer do or never did! They’re not going to check up on you.) Change some of your own habits and mention it to friends and family (buy fewer things like clothes that use lots of energy to produce, travel less, eat less meat, switch to energy efficient products). You don’t have to be preachy about it, just matter-of-fact.

I care about a lot of issues: GMO food, who we’re warring against, Women’s rights, etc. But climate change tops the heap. It would be futile to eat healthy foods, enjoy peace, and equality if our planet has become unlivable. It’s all happening so freakin’ fast. I have a child and I want to know that he will come of age on a planet worth living on. Surely you must feel the same way.

U.S. Climate Change

 

Rising Temperatures

1991-2012 average temperature compared with 1901-1960 average

 

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