“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said at his inauguration. “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”
That has got to be the most encouraging statement I have heard in a long time on a topic that rates as one of my hot buttons. I am delighted to see that someone in a position to initiate change is willing to step forward and try to get things done. I am very concerned, however, that too many people in the Republican party are going to be trumpeting their deliberately ignorant denial talking points. And I do mean deliberately ignorant. They are deliberately ignoring the obvious, simply as a matter of political expediency.
Climate change is very real and I am running out of patience for the deniers. Those who insist that climate change is some massive government inspired hoax are definitely running low on common sense. All you have to do is look around with eyes wide open. Evidence for change is all around us.
All I have to do is look in my own back yard. What I am most aware of is the absence of snow. Once upon a time, by this point in the winter, there would be at least a couple of feet of snow. We used to go cross-country skiing in the fields next door and in the nearby regional forest. Today, there is less than an inch of snow on the ground. Total snow fall so far this winter is less than six inches. You cannot ski on that no matter how enthusiastic you may be about outdoor winter activities.
On a recent holiday out west, we visited a very popular glacier field. What we were particularly aware of was how much the glacier had receded since a previous visit about 20 years ago.
Autumn is lasting longer and spring is arriving earlier. And this is local climate change. Pay attention to climate references from anywhere in the world and it is patently obvious that the world has changed and is continuing to change. The ONLY debatable point, in my opinion, is the extent to which humans are responsible. From my perspective, once again, it is painfully obvious that we contribute a great deal. Once again, just look around. Step outside and watch the exhaust fumes spewing from passing tail pipes. Look to the horizon and the brown stain that sits in the atmosphere above Toronto. Look at news film footage of the dreadful pollution over Beijing. That is all man-made and that is changing our climate.
Once again, I am very pessimistic about our chances for change. I believe that the climate change deniers are too numerous and that we lack the collective will-power to effect change. I believe that President Obama is sincere in his desire to move things in the right direction. I wish him the best of luck.