Cruel Summer

There’s no “light side” to what’s happening to our planet.


There’s no way to sugar-coat the facts:

So far this summer:


WESTERN EUROPE: 205 are dead and 176 still missing from floods that ravaged the continent, particularly Germany & Belgium.


PACIFIC NORTHWEST: Hundreds are believed dead from four extreme heatwaves within less than two months.


ZHENGZHOU, CHINA: 33 are dead and at least 8 still missing after heavy rains flood a subway line.


SIBERIA, RUSSIA: Smoke from over 200 fires has drifted as far as Alaska.


OREGON: The 360,000-acre (and counting) Bootleg fire is creating its own “weather,” i.e., lightning and fiery tornados, and spreading ash and smoke (visible from space) all the way to the East Coast.


Last month was the hottest June in America since the federal government began tracking temperatures back in the 1890s.


On July 9, 2021, Death Valley, CA reached 130 degrees, matching the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth (save for one day in 1913, which scientists now dispute).


As for the rest of the nation? Take a look at these charts from the National Weather Service, published by the New York Times.

If your reaction is "Big deal, what's a few extra degrees?" you clearly haven't been paying attention to the news the past few years.


Scientists had previously predicted that if temperatures in the oceans rise by just three degrees, sea levels would rise 2 to 4 meters (that's six to 12 feet!) within three centuries.


But now, it's even worse.


A 2013 study found that high tides in Bangladesh are rising ten times faster than the world average, suggesting a four-meter rise by 2100.


That's less than 80 years away!


Can our planet be rescued from a future of unbearable heat, unpredictable storms in some areas and massive drought in others?


We did it once before.


Nearly 50 years ago, scientists discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in hair spray, deodorant, and other CFC aerosol-spray cans were destroying the ozone layer (which protect us from dangerous UV rays) above the Antarctic.


If those rays reached Earth’s surface, they warned, millions could die of skin cancer, or go blind with cataracts, or suffer immune diseases. Food crops would wither.


Eventually, most Americans accepted it as fact, even as chemical companies denied the science (sound familiar?).


Many countries entered into the Montreal Protocol. Congress passed the Clean Air Act in America. Many industries redesigned their products to work as pumps or roll-ons.


And our ozone layer began to heal.


But to save us from the current climate-change disaster, big business and conservative government leaders must face facts.


But how do we get them to do that? Particularly in an era when even protecting one's self against a potentially deadly virus has been turned into an absurd "left-vs.-right" political issue?


What will it take for climate-change deniers to wake up to reality?


When will they admit they are wrong?


As they are drowning?


After they burst into flames?


Sources:

"Dire climate predictions are becoming real around the globe" Los Angeles Times 7/22/2021

Extreme Summer” by David Leonhardt New York Times 7/20/2021

Northern Hemisphere has a punishing heat wave infestation” by Jason Samenow Washington Post 7/20/21

National Resources Defense Council article “We Save the Ozone Layer. We Can Save the Climate.” 4/17/2019 www.nrdc.org


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