Everyone likes to talk about the weather. Sometimes we complain about it, that is just human nature. Whoever thought when you grew up that man can effect the weather?
Weather is part of our lives. I am a son of a man from the country, from the land. My Dad grew up farming with his father and brothers at his side. He went off to college and he became a meteorologist. A real weatherman who could read a weather map, not some television entertainer. My Dad had left the farm but the land had not left him. His job was to protect people who worked on oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico from storms that could kill them. Hurricane forecasts were essential in that protection from danger.
As his son, I grew up with an interest in the weather. After all, in New Orleans, they have real weather, weather that if you are not prepared for can cost you your life.
Now the planet is facing danger, the danger of climate volatility. My father took the responsibility to prepare and protect people from the adverse effects of severe weather. Now mankind faces a crisis in which we all need to prepare and organize against the ever increasing danger to humanity.
A few deny that climate change is taking place and more people than perhaps we would like argue about who is to blame or what is to blame for climate change. What we should not do is to stick our collective heads in the sand and deny that our one planet that we all live on is changing.
Certain basic scientific facts are without question. When you burn oil and coal, the combination of carbon with oxygen creates carbon dioxide. Our planet is like a greenhouse where sunlight passes through the atmosphere and warms the surface of the earth. The heat is radiated back into space, where the outgoing heat is absorbed by greenhouse gasses. NASA does a very good job of explaining what is going on to the uninformed, and they state how much of an increase in carbon dioxide parts per million have been occurring in our atmosphere. Since 1880 the world’s temperature has increased by 1.4 degrees.
Scientists say that there is a 90 percent probability that man has contributed to climate change. The Industrial Age has brought with it the heavy usage of coal, and other fossil fuels. When you burn it up the remains have to go someplace, and it is only logical that the stuff we put into the air stays up there.
Climate volatility is when extreme weather conditions become the norm rather than the rare happenings that it used to be. For example tornadoes of the maximum size are on the increase and when we have hurricanes or typhoons they are more severe. Now we are witnessing severe winter weather from a condition called the polar vortex.
There are other statistics that should bring fear into our hearts and bring home the realization that something needs to be done. During the last 10 years we have seen the 9 warmest years in the history of the planet. Warmer temperatures if you remember your science class bring about changes, and in the process these changes necessitate preparation to deal with the consequences of climate change. Changing weather patterns are likely to cause greater droughts in some places on the planet and effect where we can grow the crops and provide for the food that we all need to live on. We survive on our requiring both water to drink and food to eat.
We should treat the crisis that we face as if there were a fire in the neighborhood or a disease that is spreading and endangering the world’s health and well-being. The time is now to act to deal with the consequences that we face. It is too late to prevent climate change but it is not too late to organize and prepare on how to deal with the inevitable. What is most essential for our very survival is to use alternative energies such as solar and wind power. If we fail to act we do so at our peril and we jeopardize whether or not the human race can survive.