The climate use to be rather predictable. At least until what we’ve seen recently. Now, it too has a culture of anything goes. What is going on? Like the bad diet, little exercise and unremitting stress that provoke diabetes, haphazard behaviors and practices are radically affecting our globe.
I feel October coolness in August, August heat and humidity in June. Downpours flooded out July, and April buds bloomed (then froze) in January. These dizzying peculiarities are akin to the human body expressing more and more serious symptoms to get our attention…our care. And sagacious change…for survival.
- Across the USA, fire seasons are two months longer than 50 years ago.
- Twice as many acres burn in the States now than 30 years prior.
- Over 400,000 acres have already burned in California this year.
- West Nile virus, virtually unheard of two decades ago, has infected hundreds of thousands of people.
- Category 4 storms (winds faster than 155 mph) tripled in the last 40 years.
And to accommodate the more-recent monster storms Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann suggests adding a new Category 6 to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Really? It’s escalated that much?
Like diabetes running rampant across the globe, too many ignore the symptoms until it’s too late.
“We have to recognize that by some measures, dangerous climate change isn’t some far-off thing we can look to avoid, ” Mann said. “It has arrived.”
Until last year, for example, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) averaged a hurricane hit once every eight years and only in the most northern island of Anegada (which is Spanish for “drowned island” by the way). Yet in 2017, a triplet of hurricanes within two weeks pummeled most of the BVI archipelago — first category 5 Hurricane Irma, then category 4 Jose, and finally category 5 Maria.
A year later the BVI is still trying to regroup. Many landowners can’t afford escalating insurance rates and can’t afford to rebuild. Supplies are unavailable for months. Hurricane Maria, by the way, was the deadliest hurricane in Puerto Rico since San Ciriaco in 1899. Think about that — the deadliest hurricane in 119 years. How can these warnings be ignored?
And like diabetes, it’s not just the weather change that affects us. It’s the complications ravaging intricate bodily systems that lead to amputations…stroke…heart disease…blindness…neuropathy…complete kidney failure. But, unlike diabetics, there’s no transplant list for Mother Nature to receive clean air, pure water, or more land.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study indicating that many storm-related deaths are from lack of access to medical care weeks and months after the storm. Have you considered the devastating global effects of climate change? Once clean air, water and acreage are eradicated, where will displaced populations go? How much food and water supplies will be lost? How many will be infected with West Nile or Zika viruses when the mosquito infestation multiplies from increased flooded areas?
As with diabetes, ignoring the realities is catastrophic. The only solution is to change our ill ways and practice healthier behavior. Put safeguards into place. Now. Not after our legs have been amputated. Not after the storm blacks out the power grid and its ability to provide proper medical attention, food refrigeration, or AC for that matter. Puerto Rico is the neon warning of what’s to come if we remain unprepared…
Admittedly, I’ve been caught up by global warming. Particularly after enduring a very wet, grey summer and attending Josh Fox’s masterpiece performance of The Truth has Changed. I didn’t want to believe things are as critical as they are. But, it’s not fake news folks. All you have to do is see and feel what is going on outside. There’s more to think about now than do I need a raincoat or sweater today?