Climate change continues to hit home in the US

An article on two islands, one off the coast of Virginia and one off Louisiana, reveals what the rest of the planet is witnessing. Both Tangier Island in the Chesapeake and Isle de Jean Charles in the Gulf of Mexico, are being consumed by rising sea levels. Climate change is already impacting the planet and we better do something about it. A link to the articles is below.

These are not isolated incidents. The City of Miami and surrounding counties are spending $200 million to stave off the sea water from coming up through street drains following the mildest of storms. Last month, I read where the sea levels have been threatening a major water reservoir near the Everglades coming through the porous limestone. And, as we enter hurricane season, the rising sea levels are like raising the basketball court, so it is easier for the hurricane to metaphorically dunk a basketball and wreak havoc.

But, what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has stated clearly for years, is the climate change will cause exacerbated weather patterns, where the drought areas will be drier, the forest fires will be more frequent and severe and snow-bound areas will be pummeled with stalled weather systems. This is not just around the world, but here in the states with California seeing much of the first two and states like Texas and plain states seeing more drought conditions.

The World Economic Forum annually publishes a Global Risk Report. In 2015, the report cited failing to act on climate change is the second greatest risk facing our planet over the next ten years. The greatest risk is made worse by climate change – our water resources are declining. So, ironically, as we have too much of sea water, our fresh water is being threatened. This is a key reason I have been against fracking as it requires so much water in the process (2 to 4 million gallons per one fracking attempt) that cannot be reused as the chemicals that are mixed with it are toxic to humans.

When I have been scoffed at for this comment, I note that for three summers in a row, frackers and farmers have been fighting over water in California, Kansas and Texas. Texas has some towns where the water has been severely depleted and California, where many crops are farmed, has recurring water rights legal fights as the water is being used up.

And, last fall, during a panel presentation on the Future Water Crisis, a Duke Energy spokesperson noted that they factor in evaporation into their water models and climate change is anticipated to increase evaporation by 11%. It should be noted that the normal power generation process with fossil fuels and nuclear power heats water into steam several times to turn the turbines to turn the generators. When the water is finally released back into the river, they have also lost about 1% to 2% of the water due to evaporation.

We have a presidential election in front of us and, on this issue, party matters. We have one party who is heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry who wants to get as much profit from fossil fuels as possible, so they require the naysaying of climate change. As a sidebar, Exxon-Mobil is being investigated by the New York Attorney General for alleged misrepresentation of the impact of climate change on its business to shareholders and investors, which is a securities crime.

The presumptive presidential nominee from this party has said several times that climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese to steal our jobs. In fact, only one candidate from this party in the primary recognized climate change as a problem. This issue more than any other scares me, as we can no longer afford to wait and must build upon what President Obama has started and what the Paris Climate Change Accord compels us to do.

8 thoughts on “Climate change continues to hit home in the US

  1. Something about the sound of ‘frackers and farmers’ made me laugh.. maybe because in troubling times, we find bizarre reasons to laugh? There are so many things out of synch on our planet…

    It’s time for some ‘good news’ posts!

    • Frackers and Farmers sounds like the name of a company. I miss the Good News blog. I could always count on being uplifted. There was a good story about a judge who was obligated to sentence a drug addicted vet for cheating on a urine sample. The judge knew that would be difficult, so he served the 24 hours with him. Class act.

    • Leiah, you are so right about those tiny warriors. It is scary what these organisms could do to us. We already are having to invent stronger anti-bacterial sera. Thanks, Keith

      • I read an article once that pointed out the problem started because of the fact that humans, especially Americans, are so paranoid about germs we started “anti-bacterial obsessions” such as antibiotics for the common cold, and the ubiquitous “hand sanitizers” – causing us to be less and less capable of fighting off infection because we have made ourselves ‘weak’ when it comes to fighting off infection.

      • We must have read the same piece. This is a real threat and we tend not to discuss it openly like other threats.

  2. Note to Readers: The two issues that may hammer us around the same time are runaway debt and climate change. We don’t talk about the former, but a Congressional Budget Office report said, if we continue to let it fester, it will become too large to ignore and major cuts and tax increases will be needed. The debt is also a good metaphor for climate change. It will be worse and ironically require more money at the time we can least afford it.

    And, as I have mentioned before when folks raise “jobs” as an issue, there are over 200,000 solar energy jobs in the US and they are growing at a double digit rate as compared to about 60,000 coal energy jobs and they have been retrenching each year. These coal miners have taken false hope in Donald Trump’s promise to bring those jobs back. They are not coming back, so they have been lied to once again. Bernie Sanders told them the truth and said we need to focus on retraining.

    To be brutally frank, the legislators in coal states – which include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky – have seen this writing on the wall for several years and have not acted to help with other industries and the retraining Sanders’ speaks of. I ask you, who has been misleading citizens in those states? My educated guess is these leaders have enjoyed their fossil fuel funding so much, that they chose not to see the writing on the wall.

  3. Note to Readers: I have written before how Burlington, VT is 100% powered by renewable energy coupling hydro and solar power together. What is also nice is they have not had a rate increase in over five years. Two other US cities are also entirely powered by renewable energy. I wish our country could be as forward thinking as these cities and countries like Denmark and Germany whose successes dwarf ours.

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