Let’s Talk About Climate Change

As much of the world is currently experiencing record high temperatures, and forests and cities and countries are burning up, literally, who is still pretending climate change is a myth?

Not me. The six-weeks of triple digit temps here in my corner of East Texas leaves no doubt, and it’s played havoc on trees, birds, plants, and anything else that has to be out there for longer than a few hours. Several of the flowers in my yard have burned up. My lawn is shriveling, and there are huge cracks in the ground. Plus, for the past few days, I haven’t seen the family of cardinals that normally come to my little watering hole, even though I put fresh water out there for them.

One of the top deniers, or ignorers, is Exxon/Mobil. A recent article in The Guardian, revealed that in 1977 the executives at the oil company knew the dangers of fossils fuels as a major contributor to a breakdown of the ozone layer protecting Earth from the blasting rays of the sun. They chose to ignore the science. They chose greed in the short term over protecting the planet in the long term.

In the past fifty years Exxon/Mobil has made a $3billion daily profit, while ignoring climate change.

SHAME ON THEM

A separate report from The Daily Podcast, Utah’s Nuclear Bomb, told a chilling story about what is happening with the Great Salt Lake. Water levels are dropping drastically, leaving a whitish silt that is filled with toxic heavy metals that can soon have people who live around that area of Utah, and maybe beyond, wearing gas masks.

The worst immediate threat of the toxic elements is what they do to a person’s lungs, but there’s also a long-range threat in that these metals can cause cancer, so there could be a rise in cases of that deadly disease over the next few decades. And depending on how the wind blows, people in Utah are not the only ones facing the threat.

The crisis in Salt Lake is caused by a lack of water. Less water coming from streams and rivers feeding the lake. Smaller snowpacks, resulting in less melt-off in the spring. And a boom in building that is diverting more and more water to households and new businesses.

In my grade-school science class I learned how the water cycle works. It’s simple: Water evaporates from the surface of the earth, rises into the atmosphere, cools and condenses into rain or snow in clouds, and falls again to the surface as precipitation. That cycle is hampered when water on the surface of the earth shrinks, as in the Great Salt Lake, as well as other bodies of water across the globe.

That water surface is shrinking at alarming rates.

Here in the States, another lake is in serious jeopardy. Mano Lake in California is slowly drying up, creating some of the same environmental and health issues being seen elsewhere. Parts of the lake have already dried up and dust storms create some of the nation’s worst air pollution. Like what’s happening in Utah, California, and other western states, are dealing with the consequences of the third year of severe draught. Rivers, lakes, streams, and groundwater are all at lower levels than they had been even a year ago.

A snow survey in April of this year showed that the snowpack in Sierra Nevada was only 37% of average, down from 59% in 2121, and consecutive years of well-below-average winter precipitation have been more frequent. According to research published in March in The Washington Post, using tree-ring data, California and eight other Western states are now coping with the driest period in the past 1,200 years.

So what are states and municipalities doing about the looming crisis? Not a whole lot, actually. According to Christopher Flavelle who reported the story at The Daily, there’s a lot of political maneuvering that goes on. Nobody want’s to be the tough guy and impose strict regulations on water use.

“So if you got a lawn and you want to water that lawn, nobody wants to tell you not to water that lawn. No one wants to tell you where you can or cannot live. I think there’s a mentality in this country that we don’t want to impose sacrifice on Americans. And unfortunately, a lot of adapting to climate change really means imposing some degree of sacrifice, some narrowing of the choices that they have. And what’s so revealing about this case is Salt Lake City is reluctant to impose meaningful change or meaningful sacrifice on its residents, even knowing that the cost of inaction could mean poisoning the air and losing their water.”

This is pretty scary stuff, folks, and a real crisis. I think we should respond like we have in the past to a national crisis. Make the sacrifices. Do what we have to in order to ensure a world for those who will come after us.

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So this post doesn’t end on such a dour note, here are a couple of jokes to lighten the load. These are courtesy of The Laugh Factory. Enjoy…

A teacher asked her students to use the word “beans” in a sentence. “My father grows beans,” said one girl. “My mother cooks beans,” said a boy. A third student spoke up, “We are all human beans.”

One day a duck walks in a store and ask the manager if they sell grapes. The manager says, “No, we don’t sell grapes.”

The duck goes home and comes back the next day and asks the same question. The manager says the same thing again, “No, we do not sell grapes.”

The duck goes home, comes back the next day, and asks the manager if they sell grapes. This time the manager says, “No, we don’t sell grapes! If you ask one more time, I will nail your beak to the floor!”

The duck goes home. It comes back the next day and asks the manager if he has any nails. The manager says, “No, I don’t have any nails.”

The duck says, “Okay, good. Do you sell grapes?”

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