When You Can’t Deny The World Has Changed

While there are still climate deniers, there are fewer every day.  I wondered many times what it would take for people to notice life as they knew it no longer existed. It’s starting to happen now.

winter-fun

Last winter our area had half the average snow fall we should get, most cheered because it meant less shoveling and fewer dangerous days on the roads. This year we haven’t had winter. Our average temperatures should be below freezing and yet we are experiencing temperature fluctuations between mid 40s and mid 60s. And our snowfall? We should have 40 inches per season, we’ve had 3 inches total so far.

Everyone is starting to talk about the dangers to our other seasons should we continue to have these mild winters. The talk ranges from the increase in bug problems to possible droughts. Many still haven’t connected the heavy rains which are causing flooding with global warming, but they will.   Of course, this talk is tempered with a bit of a thrill that heating bills are lower and giving our finances a break.

Then the other day the Guardian reported that parts of the US will, and are, warming faster than the rest of the globe.  Specifically, the Northeastern portion of the US is warming faster and will see 2C before the rest of the world.  The study cited found that this section of the US will warm 50 percent faster than the rest of the US.  This is just another fact to add to what we here in the northeast know is happening.

While lower heating bills is a plus – being that we are using less fossil fuels to stay warm – the lack of hard freezing will reduce crop yields. Certain plants need a good solid freeze to produce. Our cherry harvests are contingent on just the right mix of cold and warm temperatures. Without a hard freeze our maple trees won’t produce the sap necessary to make maple syrup.  The beautiful spring bulbs that push up each year through the snow and provide sustenance for bees until the summer plants are in bloom won’t come up without the cold of a typical winter.

Eight foods we won’t have due to global warming you might not have thought about. Do a search on crop failures and global warming and you will find pages and pages of articles dating back more than a decade on the consequences of global warming on our food crops. Wheat, corn, wine pop up most frequently but taking a closer look you will find that with wheat and corn yields falling so too will be the ability to raise the animals that are fed these food crops.

Life has already changed and it will continue to morph as the years pass.  Children are bemoaning the lack of snow to build snowmen or have snowball fights. My neighbor boys are bummed they aren’t earning as much from shoveling, a source of income children have counted on for generations. After a long winter I know spring is here when I hear the chirping of birds that have returned, this winter, we have new nests built in the late fall and birds who never left.

It’s time to stop living like there is no tomorrow, because if we don’t there really won’t be a tomorrow. Forget leaving a world for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, we are now trying to preserve the life we remember for ourselves.

 

 

 

 

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11 comments

  1. You know what Lois, I think your new president elect might actually bring about some change for the better – NOT because of what he does, but because he angers so many people to unite in action to compensate for his type of head in the sand leadership. This will be interesting to follow, and I’m hoping the people will force changes for the good. Climate change is real.

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    • I do hope you are right. I have very serious concerns about his presidency but I do know that all change starts small in communities not from the executive level down. There are a lot of angry people out here right now, although I do live in an area that was so angry about the problems Obama’s administration didn’t help with they voted Trump in.

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  2. Lois, I had no idea about corn being a failing crop. Perhaps that will be the trigger that finally gets politicians moving on climate change because “Big Corn” has really taken over our country. I remember reading in Michael Pollan’s book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” how everything at McDonald’s has some form of corn in it–whether it be corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, or just corn fed to the cows for the beef. Corn is pervasive and it’s such big money here.

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    • Joy, it never ceases to amaze me the number of foods that contain corn. I remember the first time I realized sweeteners were used in applesauce. Having grown up with homemade applesauce we knew apples were sweet enough without any other sweeteners so I couldn’t figure out why they would waste using an ingredient that was unnecessary. After that I looked at ingredients and did some research into the why’s of corn products in our foods. And we wonder why diabetes and weight problems are on the rise.

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  3. Well said Lois!
    I hope you’re right that the number of climate deniers is decreasing.
    In some ways though, the people who don’t notice climate change (because they’re too busy running around consuming) may be even more of a problem than the climate deniers. To dispute proven science is just silly. But to not care is potentially worse, because it means there will be zero behavioural change.

    Currently, those of us living simply don’t make up enough numbers to make a truly significant difference.
    Those who live simply because they have no choice through abject poverty, like many people I know from my years in Africa, want to get out of the poverty trap, which to many means a life of consumer “luxury” (and who can blame them for that?).
    And the climate deniers either don’t bother to think and just follow emotive rhetoric, or they have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. If you work in, or benefit from (e.g. stocks and shares) the oil industry, it would be very stressful to think that your job or income contributes to climate change, so it’s better to deny it, and think instead that you’re providing needed energy for people to live a more enjoyable life.

    Although the numbers are against making global behavioural change sufficient to combat climate change, I take inspiration daily from all the wonderful people like you who DO care and who make a difference.

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    • I couldn’t agree more with your assessment. It drives me crazy to watch the people who simply don’t care, who don’t question anything but how they will acquire the next possession they want. As for the people who work in industries that contribute to the polluting or warming of our planet I frequently ask myself how they can get up each day but know there’s more to their choice than meets the eye.

      We all know there is enough money and resources for the entire world to have a safe place to live, with enough food to feed our families as well, yet because of greed, wars etc we see to it that the poorest of the world have less. It’s shameful to say the least.

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