By now we have all seen the pictures of the rising seas, melting glaciers, devastating hurricanes, floods, heat waves and even an early visit from the polar vortex. Article after article in our newspapers and magazines include information about our earth’s climate.
The fall issue of the publication “Audubon” devoted their entire issue to the plight of our bird population due to a changing climate. National Geographic this summer had an entire issue on climate and the receding glaciers. All 219 pages of the fall issue of Lapham’s Quarterly are devoted to climate. Interesting that both Fox News and Lapham’s ran the same pictures of the Monte Blanc Glacier in France in 1919 and 2019 showing the glacier today had disappeared. The November 15 issue of the Tampa Bay Times ran an editorial on impacts of climate change is accelerating in Tampa Bay.
A 30-year mortgage on a coastal property may not be a good investment. The article went on to state that even 44 % of Florida Republicans now agree that climate change is real and caused by human activity. They also stated that this should wake up politicians in Washington and Tallahassee their state capital. Another extensive article in Vice magazine discusses the last of the climate deniers holding on despite protests from many millennials who are concerned by the inaction of the older generation. The article goes on to say how a group of well funded science people were paid to get the denial message out. They used a think tank approach using mostly older white male scientists and economists to satisfy the political demand for climate skepticism.
I can see why many politicians seem to fit into the denier group. If we can deny something doe not exist we don’t have to deal with fixing the problem. When the problem worsens, it will be somebody else who will have to deal with the solution. Speaking of solutions an article in our Herald-Standard this week discussed the $29 million being allocated for coastal protection. This will include 44 different grants, including money for a small village in Alaska to remain as the area was being constantly flooded from rising seas. Cities and some states are also beginning to realize that we have a problem and it will take a lot of effort and money to protect our kids and grand children.
Perhaps the most promising item of news about our climate problem was the fact that 11,258 of the world’s scientists from 153 countries declared a climate emergency. We have moved from global warming to climate change to a climate emergency. This should tell us that the problem is real even though we have some leaders who still will not admit that there is a problem. All of this happened while our own country that is responsible for so much of the increased CO2 pulled out of the global climate accord.
If you Google CO2 you will find that as of Oct. 17 CO2 is measuring at 411.93 parts per million, the highest it has been in hundreds of thousands of years, according to our scientists at NASA. There is a lag between the measure of today and the effect on our climate. The last time it was 350 parts per million, Florida was underwater and the temperature of our planet was 5 degrees warmer. Perhaps in the future our children will reflect back and thank us for becoming aware and taking some action to make their world a decent place for them and future generations.