Putting 2 + 2 Together …

A few of the recent headlines …

Heat Wave Grips Northeast U.S.

Dangerous Heat Wave Hitting U.S. Over Fourth of July Weekend

UK Weather Forecast:  Summer 2018 To Be Hottest Ever

Town Hit By Major Freak Flooding in the Midst of a National Heat Wave

And the list goes on.  In my city, it has been over 90° F (32° C) and with heat index factored in, has hit 104° F (40° C) for the past four days. A check with The Weather Channel shows that there is very little, if any relief in sight at least through July 15th, another two weeks.  The average temperatures here in the two hottest months, July & August, are typically 86° and 87° with rarely more than 3-4 days over 90°.  I remember a few years that there were no 90-degree days all summer!  Humidity has been between 56% – 99% for the past several days.climate map eastern usFunny thing about all of this, though … nobody seems to be too concerned beyond the inconvenience of being uncomfortable, having trouble breathing and/or sleeping, and worrying about seeing next month’s electric bill.  I haven’t once heard mention of that forbidden phrase … climate change. I haven’t heard any others express my own concern, that this is how summers will be from now on.  For the past two winters, we have barely had any snowfall.  Last year saw a record number of intense hurricanes, including three Category 5 hurricanes, Harvey, Irma & Maria, that together caused over $281 billion in damage!

When Trump took office on 20 January 2017, he had already made it known that he believed climate change was a “hoax invented by the Chinese”.  He then nominated Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Pruitt had already sued the EPA thirteen times while he served as Oklahoma’s Attorney General!  And now, as EPA Administrator, he has climbed into bed with the fossil fuel industry, hidden his agenda from the public eye, falsified records, spent taxpayer monies recklessly and on personal items, engaged in unethical activities and in short, been one of the most corrupt cabinet members in history!  The one thing he has not done, is address the most serious issue facing our environment, climate change.

In June 2015, Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement, saying that “The Paris accord will undermine [the U.S.] economy, and puts [the U.S.] at a permanent disadvantage.”  In keeping with that philosophy, he has rescinded, via ‘executive order’, a large number of regulations and safeguards that were put into place to regulate CO2 emissions, water standards, chemical toxicity, wildlife and national park protections, and the list goes on.

Now, it is not my intention to say that because Trump has given free rein to coal and oil companies, that is the reason we are sweltering.  However, I do say that unless this nation, the only one on the globe that is not remaining in the Paris Accord, takes responsibility for doing its share to take care of the planet, we will continue to see the effects that we are seeing and they will only continue to multiply.  The predictions of the climate scientists are being realized even sooner than they anticipated.

Despite the losses of life and property during last year’s hurricane season, despite the nearly unbearable extended heat wave both in the U.S. and across the pond, people seem to be oblivious.  I don’t see people leaving their cars at home, taking a bus or walking to their destination.  The lady across the street from me even starts her car and drives her bag of trash to the dumpster at the end of the street!  And no, she is not disabled, but is more ‘abled’ than I am, while I walk my trash to the dumpster! The end result is that people are much more concerned with things such as jobs, the economy, health care, taxes and other things that they can see affecting their own lives on a day-to-day basis.

This explains in part why it has been so easy for the current bunch in Washington to pull the wool over the public’s eyes about climate change, for it is seen as having more long-term than immediate effects, and also the science is not well understood among those of us who are non-scientists.  One has to take much on faith, believing that the men and women who have the education and have spent most of their lives studying the earth and environment know of what they speak.  And, of course, part of the resistance to climate change is the convenience factor, for once you acknowledge that human behaviours are destroying the environment, it is hard to argue against changing those behaviours.dinosaurAnother part of the reason that people are failing to sit up and take notice, I think, is that lackadaisical attitude that “somehow things will work out … they always do”.  I imagine the dinosaurs believed much the same once upon a time, eh?

It is encouraging that some states and cities in the U.S., as well as some corporations are taking matters into their own hands and taking steps toward being more environmentally responsible.   It is encouraging to see that in 2017, renewable energy sources accounted for about 11% of total U.S. energy consumption and about 17% of electricity generation.  But it isn’t enough.  The U.S. is not only letting its own citizens down, but is letting every man, woman and child on the globe down, for this is a global problem, not a local one.  The U.S. has emitted more planet-warming carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country.  Yet while we are a big part of the problem, we refuse to be a part of the solution.

This summer’s high temperatures and humidity will lead to increased energy use as air-conditioners run non-stop in homes and businesses.  People will drive their cars more, rather than walk, and run the a/c in the car, thereby using more fuel … more polluting fuel.  What does it take to wake people up to the fact that we are very likely bringing about the extinction of the human race, and unlike the dinosaurs, who did not have the ability to control their fate, we have a choice.  Perhaps we cannot force Donald Trump to care about the earth, to care about our survival, but we can get the knuckle-draggers out of Congress and elect people who care enough to do something.  AND … we can do something.  We can combine trips so we drive less, turn our thermostats up (or down in winter), turn off lights, conserve energy in any way possible.  It may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to the energy used by factories, office buildings and big trucks, but every little bit counts.  WE MUST WAKE UP!!!

A few informative links, if you’re interested:

22 thoughts on “Putting 2 + 2 Together …

  1. Dear Jill,

    The military will tell you that the number threat against the USA is climate change. The military type experts want to set up plans, strategies to mitigate against this inevitable development but they are being blocked from doing research because of the White House and the GOP in the US Congress.

    This is like the NRA which have a hold of the republican party where virtually nothing gets done.

    This paradigm needs to change.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Keith raised the imminent crisis of fresh water availability, and rightly so. Barring a massive technological solution, such as desalination plants, increasing water shortages will have many devastating effects on public health and social stability. But, even if we can manage this problem, there’s a related one even more problematic. I’ve analyzed the IPCC aggregate projections on agricultural production, compared it with the U.N. population growth forecast, and discovered that severe food shortages will become evident sometime in the next two decades and become widespread by the middle of the century. As a direct result of climate change, agricultural production is projected to decline in the latter 21st century. This has never happened before on a global, long-term scale, and the dire consequences to modern civilization are not difficult to imagine.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, both of Keith’s points were excellent points and of grave concern … should be of grave concern to everyone, though some seem quite content to wear their rose-coloured glasses and ignore it all, hoping that it will simply go away.

      To your point, you are absolutely correct … food shortages, currently known as ‘food insecurity’, are already occurring in some places, and with the reduction in viable land, coupled with the increase in global population, it becomes painfully obvious that something must give. It is unconscionable for people in the developed nations to be having 7-8 children, for starters. I keep hearing that abortion should be made illegal, insurance plans ought not cover birth control … so does nobody but a handful of us see that we cannot continue making more people and less food? The loss of arable land was the main factor that led to the Arab Spring uprisings that have, in turn, led to the global immigration crisis. We just don’t learn, do we?

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jill, Robert, thanks. The projections should give us concern. Population growth has a huge impact. A British scientist, whose name escapes me, answered a question of how many people can our planet support. He said if we consume like the average Rwandan, maybe 15 billion. But, if we consume like the average North American, about 3 billion. Since we have 7 billion now, we should be thinking about birth control being widely disseminated. The Pope needs to speak to this issue as it also is a STD issue. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Birth control is absolutely one thing that needs to be wide spread. I find it a sad state of affairs that the U.S. consumes 5 times the resources of many other under-developed nations. Another thing that is little-mentioned but a big factor, is the amount of food that is wasted in the U.S. and likely other industrialized nations. I am appalled when I clean out my refrigerator, and we are not huge wasters. But think of all the food thrown out by grocery stores. Some is donated, but more is simply tossed. The day may come that we simply cannot afford to toss a single shriveled apple … for some, that day is already here.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I think over here we’ve adapted to climate change with just a big sigh. While the heat wave is going on people are saving washing up water for the plants and parents leaving paddling pools unfilled.I’d like to think that one day Trump will be out of power and the people will be able to make him pay for putting the country at risk the way he has. Pruitt should be charged now with mismanagement and misappropriation of funds .
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • We, too, often are only able to heave a big ‘SIGH’. The media is strangely silent about the devastating effects of climate change, perhaps because it isn’t what people want to hear, and the press is in business to make a profit by pleasing their readers/viewers. Pruitt, in my opinion, should be not only disciplined, not only fired, but drawn and quartered! He is the most corrupt, second only to Trump himself, and is playing with the lives of everyone on this planet. I must ask you … doesn’t the soap in the wash water kill the plants?
      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Jill, the term that should be a greater call to action is “sunny day flooding.” This term defines the increasing number of days that cities like Norfolk, VA, Miami Beach, New Orleans, etc. where the streets are flooded during high tide without any storms. The number of days are in the thirties and it is predicted that in the next couple of decades the cities will be more routinely under water.

    But, as you note it is not just a coastal issue. The number one long term risk in the world is a a global water crisis. This risk can be observed from the satellites. This is affecting drinking water (Capetown, South Africa is perilously close to running out), but water for crops in the farm belts. And, climate change makes it worse. Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are very right on both counts. I haven’t read much at all about the ‘sunny day flooding’ — it is largely under-reported, but I’m sure is going to become an even bigger issue soon, as the arctic ice caps are melting. And the issue of potable water is certainly one of the biggest concerns facing us today, though far too many people ignore it, continuing to waste water as if there were no tomorrow. Thanks for reminding us of these two very crucial issues.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    WAKE UP!!! …. CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL! Take the blinders off!!
    ‘Funny thing about all of this, though … nobody seems to be too concerned beyond the inconvenience of being uncomfortable, having trouble breathing and/or sleeping, and worrying about seeing next month’s electric bill. I haven’t once heard mention of that forbidden phrase … climate change. ‘

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Dear Jill, climate change goes far beyond 7.2 billion humans, it hits 100 septillion living beings on this planet, including wolves, dolphins, penguins, lemmings, and yes, los cucarachas. And we humans are responsible. I hope Dumpy Trumpy fries to death in his Air Force One for flying too close to the sun, Victor P. himself.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. This has ben going on for decades, solar powered clean vehicles should be here by now; in the seventies an older lady at work told me her husband’s inventions for electric cars had been scuppered by the motor and oil industries, I imagine that to be a scenario repeated often. We’re fighting against big business AND little people. Families think they NEED two cars or they drive to the gym. Our neighbour regularly drove the long way round to take his children to school while we got there quicker walking across the park that was only a few doors away!

    Liked by 3 people

    • You are so right … this is capitalism run amok, where the main interest seems to be corporate profit. In the past two decades, especially the last few years, I have concluded that capitalism is not the best way to run a nation, for it leaves far too many out in the cold. Yet, I don’t expect it to change in the foreseeable future.

      Liked by 1 person

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