|U.S. Drought Conditions as of August 7, 2012|
We’ve been hearing from environmentalists and climatologists that we have to do something now about carbon emissions, if we want to prevent the worst effects of global warming from occurring. Recent events around the United States, however, indicate that we are already seeing some of the extreme predictions about climate change come true:
· This summer has been one of the hottest on record and is part of a larger warming trend happening all around the country. It has been reported that the Northern Hemisphere has just recorded its 327th consecutive month in which temperatures exceeded 20th century averages.
· This year we had the fourth warmest winter on record, with record shattering temperatures in March and June 2012.
· The drought that we have been experiencing this summer is also one of the worst on record. In fact, droughts that were once a rarity are becoming much more frequent and severe, and probably will become the norm in the United States in the future.
· This year's crop yields are down by 13 percent and river flow has been reduced by up to 50% in some places as a result of drought conditions. The consequences of this will almost certainly be higher prices for food and stress placed upon our water resources.
· Wildfires have occurred in Colorado and other Western states and are also predicted to become more common in the future.
If this isn’t a wake-up call to all of us that we need to take concrete steps now to move from a fossil fuel economy to a more renewable one, limit our consumption, and generally change the way we live and do business in the United States, then, as a species, we are probably beyond redemption.
I also hope that those individuals, who, through ignorance or slave-like devotion to conservative ideology, continue to perpetuate the lie that climate change is an illusion, will experience an intellectual and moral awakening after what we’ve experienced this summer all around the country.
These are the facts: (1) Climate change is happening, (2) our selfish human habits are responsible for it, and (3) the results, if we don’t act collectively, will be dire for us and for future generations. End of story.
The time for debate and obstruction is over. The time for action is NOW.