Pick up almost any newspaper or magazine today and you will find an article on weather and climate change.
The daily news is also filled with stories about the recent disasters to strike the country. USA on Jan. 24 had a story about the weather disasters that have struck the United States between the years 1990 and 2022. It stated 98% of our country has experienced at least one weather disaster. The article pinpointed the counties of each state with the highest frequency and Kentucky leads the country followed by Oklahoma and then Louisiana.
The county of Lawrence, Kentucky, and Caddo, Oklahoma lead the country with 30 weather disasters during the 33-year period. The disasters included floods, hurricanes, fires and severe weather events, such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, snowstorms and mudslides.
Here in our area, Fayette County had 17 of these disasters in the 33-year period. Last year in the United States there were 18 weather events that produced a billion dollars or more of damage. The trend continues to worsen and the future looks daunting.
An article in Time Magazine this week discussed the problem of water shortages in Arizona where developers are poised to build homes for 800,000 people in an area that simply does not have the water resources to accommodate this kind of growth.
Sunshine and affordable home prices are the big draw but problems are mounting as the source of 80% of the water is the Colorado River, which is simply running dry. Rio Verde Foothills a suburb of Scottsdale, Arizona has just filed a lawsuit against Scottsdale for shutting off the water supply to the suburb. The town was built in the 1970s with no water pipeline of its own.
Since 2000 the Colorado River has dried up due to a long-term drought and much of the state now has to rely on groundwater, which is also being de-pleated, and a water canal from the Colorado River which cannot handle the increased demand.
Solutions are expensive and it is important to note that much Arizona gets only several inches of rain a year. An Israeli company has proposed a $5 billion water desalination plant in Mexico that would pump water 200 miles Northward into the United States and in Utah a 1,000 mile pipeline from the Pacific is being looked at as a source to replenish the Great Salt Lake that is all but dried up.
What to do with the salt waste and environmental problems make this a real challenge.
We were in Florida last week and new homes are still being constructed in record amounts with not all that much concern for the ever increasing threat from hurricanes and storm surges just like what damaged and destroyed much of Southwest Florida this past fall. Building codes are being implemented in most areas that will help in the future but melting glaciers and rising sea levels seem to be of little concern.
Over 200 people gathered in Naples, Florida last week to discuss responses to changing climate. There is still that political and cultural divide that exists. Climate change is not a spectator sport and perhaps the best article I read this week was another article in the Naples Business section that discussed a report from the Edelman Foundation which showed that 76% of people trusted scientists more than any other group.
This is encouraging as these scientists have been trying to get the world’s attention to the climate problem and perhaps we are starting to listen to them instead of the politicians.
As we continue to learn of the climate problem and see the effects on the weather around the country our own Southwestern Pennsylvania begins to look like a rather safe place to live. Certainly not paradise but in the scheme of things winters seem to be becoming a bit milder and the weather from April through late November is pretty nice with lots of mild weather and even a good amount of sunny pleasant days.
Do you realize that despite the Paris agreement there's only one nation that hounds it's people to no end to reduce CO2 . And it's working. But the European Union has gone backgrounds, and India,China,and Indonesia just snub their noses at us and the agreement they signed. Both India and China are actually using more coal than ever and are building more than 1000 coal fired power plants. And we are paying these "developing" countries ,3 trillion of our dollars to comply. Imagine that. Insanity on our part.
You know when an odor,particularly a noxious one, reaches high enuf concentrations, you develop olfactory fatigue. Well, all this killing the planet stuff that you and others endlessly spew had left me with olfactory fatigue.
How bout start criticizing those nations that totally disregard the accord, treaty,whatever you want to call it. When you and others pound these nations instead of the horse that pulls ( and gets flogged) then maybe my nose will begin smelling again.
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