Earth Notes: The Perils of Climate Change

By Peter Bollen

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has,” — Margaret Mead

In 1970, after serving in the military, I was a newly enrolled freshman in college. A new course was introduced in the curriculum — Environmental Science. I remember this course well as it was my most difficult course with a serious and strict instructor, Mr. Nason. (I ended up with a ‘C,’ which I regarded as a hard-earned accomplishment). This was also the first year celebrating Earth Day, held on April 22, which is now an annual event across the nation.

Professor Nason’s serious warnings concerning Earth’s fate at that time was enlightening. This was a time in 1970 when rivers and certain harbors were dangerously polluted and new regulations had to be legislated. President Nixon then created the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Today, it’s not comforting reading the daily newspapers in these troubled times. An aware citizen can’t help but feel affected by the ongoing controversies in the news. Our political government has made its priorities and has wasted little time acting on them.

Dealing with the emigration policy, the tariff wars and North Korea tops the list of priorities in this administration’s problematic and controversial agenda. National priorities have always been put in front of the American public by every administration. Another administration may put mass shootings, student debt or making health care affordable for every citizen as a top priority. The prior administration did put the environment as a top priority and played a leading role in the Paris Accords with all of the developed nations taking part and dealing with this manmade fossil fuel burning, resulting in Earth’s continually heated atmosphere.

This administration’s priority, despite a serious warning from the scientific community, is to ignore the effects of the perils of climate change beginning with the parting from the Paris Accord community.

A priority not on this administration’s agenda is the continuing threat and ongoing global ravages of climate change. You don’t have to be a student of the global environment or a weather junkie to see what’s in front of our eyes on a daily basis. Here are some of the recent headlines in our daily news:

Antarctic Ice Loss Tripled in a Decade

Report Warns of Chronic Flooding as Sea Rises

Only Rapid and Far-Reaching Changes Will Stop Global Warning Exceeding 1.5C Target by 2040 Leaked UN Report Reveals

Weather, Climate Threats Top List of 2018 Global Risks Report

Species Already Vanishing Due to Climate Change, Says Study

Earth’s Atmosphere Crosses Yet Another Alarming Threshold

Climate Change May Mean More Intense Storms in Northeast

And the warnings go on, on a daily basis.

One hopes it doesn’t take another horrendous monster storm or another Katrina to open the eyes of this administration and begin to take what 97% of the worldwide scientific community is warning about. What we do know is that every year the temperature of the Earth is setting records succeeding each previous year since statistics have been recorded. It’s an inescapable inconvenient fact that can’t be just blown aside as “fake news.”

Even one person can make a difference. Collectively, groups make a great difference. Before we leave this beautiful but ravaged planet, each of us could do our part to fight the good fight on what’s right before our eyes on a daily basis. It’s not too late (hopefully) to get involved in challenging the inaction of our government which is ignoring this emerging crisis.

The truth is that nature’s time table is non-negotiable.

When our president calls the issues of climate change a “Hoax,” concerned citizens need to speak up and not leave it to our elected representatives to sit by while the EPA is being systematically dismantled to the horror of the international community. It’s been suggested to me to be polite and respectful while addressing government officials. Being polite and civil did not end slavery, defeat the Nazis or get the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts passed I’m reminded.

History confirms Margaret Mead’s dictum.

As the saying goes, it doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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