No, I won’t gloat, won’t cry, “I told you so” about the continual warming of Planet Eden.

          Heck I have been just as hot as you have, likely hotter since I set my thermostat so that it will actually turn off every now and then – even for a short spell.

          And, it still blew a fuse – as nearly everyone I talk to seems ready to do, too.

          You can’t take a cold shower when the water is lukewarm. Weeks of triple-digit heat will do that to a system. At one hundred eight degrees, you can’t accomplish too much besides staying hydrated.

          And it is no compensation whatsoever to realize I am probably considered among “the elderly who are more susceptible” to extreme heat.

          We have reached these heights of record highs through a combination of greed and willful ignorance.

          With some of the top scientists in the world working for them, the fossil fuel industry knew 50 to 60 years ago that the continued burning of their products would increase temperatures worldwide.

          They knew. They didn’t care. They still don’t. In fact, when those companies received their own scientists’ projections, they mounted disinformation campaigns, trotting out dishonest spokespeople to argue against the very data that they had filed away outside the public debate.


          Add the willing ignorance of all short-timers who prefer the status quo to a sustainable Earth and reap this summer. Some probably figure they’ll be gone anyway. Their heirs can suffer under a multi-generational curse. But, cascading climate chaos is catching up with those greedheads – and even we good people who advocate for responsible climate action.

          The Australian Broadcasting Company reported in July: “Antarctic sea ice has usually been able to recover in winter. But this year, sea ice has not returned to expected levels during winter.” The follow-up assessment: “Experts say if the sea ice trend continues, it will accelerate the warming of the planet.”

            Closer than we might like to think, also, is the collapse of not only the Gulf Stream through the mid-Atlantic Ocean but the entire Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, “a series of ocean currents that brings warm water north, and cold water south across the Atlantic Ocean, part of a “global conveyor belt” that impacts weather patterns across North America, Europe, Asia and Africa,” as reported in July by Huffington Post’s Nick Visser.

          Based on research by researchers in Denmark, the study, “concluded the AMOC could collapse at any point between now and 2095, even as early as 2025.”

          Science Daily reported in July on a Northwestern University study that, “has linked underground climate change to the shifting ground beneath urban areas. The phenomenon is affecting all major urban areas around the globe, causing civil structures and infrastructures to crack.”

          In July Phoebe Weston of The Guardian reported, “Successive heat waves threaten nature’s ability to provide us with food, say researchers, as they warn of an ‘unseen, silent dying’ in our oceans amid record temperatures scorching the Earth.”

          Quite bluntly, “’Our food system is global,’ said John Marsham, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Leeds. ‘There are growing risks of simultaneous major crop losses in different regions in the world, which will really affect food availability and prices. This is not what we’re seeing right now, but in the coming decades that’s one of the things I’m really scared of.’”

          The deleterious effects of global warming and climate chaos are among us.

          Independent scientists agree that the wildfires raging across the planet – Canada, Greece, the American Northwest, Maui – are exacerbated by the hotter, drier climate that burning fossil fuels has caused.

          And, those short fuses I alluded to earlier have scientific backing. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition most often seen in the winter when less daylight and frigid conditions force people indoors.

          The extreme heat is causing the same reaction only this time we are huddling down inside with the A/C.

          In August, Dr. Paul Desan of the Yale School of Medicine told ABC News “”There’s no question that higher temperatures produce more psychological distress and that distress has consequences.”       

          Desan reported worse conditions for people without air conditioning, likening the despair to people forced inside in the Midwest earlier this summer by wildfire smoke.

          Yes, the planet is heating up. No, the adverse effects are not out there in the future somewhere. They are affecting us right here, right now.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party.)

Global warming: right here, right now

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