Here in Western Maine we have had a warm December, a cold but snow-less January, a February with snow storms two to three time a week and finally a March with temps fluctuating from forty to zero with a constant, unrelenting wind blowing twenty and gusting up to fifty miles-per-hour some days.
Now, unlike the Republican Congress, I am smart enough to know you can’t call climate change from a daily weather phenomenon at some particular location on a particular day. Local weather and world climate are two different assessments.
In my seventy-plus years I have seen years of high snow and low snow; high temperatures and low temperatures, of drought and flood. Variations in weather conditions from year to year is a normal phenomenon.
The climate of the earth constantly changes, and has done so since the formation of the earth and solar system. Most climate changes occur over thousands of years; but occasionally a catastrophic climate change has occurs over a short period due to volcano eruptions or asteroid collisions.
The thing we are experiencing now is rapid catastrophic climate change caused by the depletion of the ozone layer due to increased levels of CO-2 and other man made substances that have been pumped into the atmosphere.
Our present dilemma is caused by pollution, but, of course, the root cause is population increase. About 1918 the world population topped one billion; by 1945 two billion; by 1975 we crested four billion people; by 2000 we were over six billion; and presently we have over seven billion people population the earth. (We have increased the world’s population over seven hundred percent in less than one hundred years)
With the population increases comes an increase demand for food, water, timber, fuel, electricity, automobiles etc. which results in more factories and power plants with the corresponding increase in pollution – and a corresponding increase in waste byproducts.
Ninety-six percent of the world’s climate scientists confirm that we have passed the point of no return and that man-made pollution of the atmosphere (earth and water) have finally pushed the earth beyond recovery, and that rapid warming of the earth resulting in accelerated melting of polar ice caps is causing irreversible rapid change to our climate – the optimum word being rapid change.
The other four percent of scientist that deny climate change, claiming it is a natural fluctuation, are either graduates of Gerry Falwell University, or are southern fundamentalist Christians with suspect science credentials, still looking to justify that the world is six millions old and dinosaurs and man existed at the same time.
We can see this change, and we can adjust to it; but, the change is real, it is happening now, and this is only the beginning.