You guys! Mother Nature is pissed off. We have fires out west and floods and hurricanes in the south and southeast portions of the United States. And all of these events have been catastrophic. But what isn’t being mentioned as it should be is these weather occurrences can be a direct result of climate change. One could think that this is just a bad hurricane or wild fire season, but it is more than just that, because this isn’t normal by far. Every year has been the hottest year on record for the past decade. The Earth is angry and she is letting us know.
Let’s take a look out West. Right now there are 76 fires that are happening. There are fires in Montana, Washington, Oregon, and even California. This year alone, 12,500 acres have burned, so far. 2012 and 2015 were the only other years where there was a large amount of land that was on fire. And while the winter out west was extremely wet with record snowfall, the Spring came fast and hot, thus creating the perfect breeding ground for fires to start. And there are areas of the west that are experiencing fires like they never had before. For example, Burbank, California is on fire. It is the largest fire that the Los Angeles area has ever experienced. So what is the reasoning for these fires? Climate change. But it isn’t climate change alone. Humans are emitted more greenhouse gases than every before, thus adding to the role of climate change. Right now there are more than 26,000 people backed by 200 helicopters and military help fighting these fires. But unfortunately, they are still burning.
And so far this years Hurricane season has been anything but quiet. Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and caused floods that will take much time to recede. Hurricane Irma devastated the entire state of Florida and caused a lot of damage. And while there are some, including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency that think that by discussing the idea that these storms are a direct result of climate change is insensitive, however just the opposite is true. While denying that climate change is causing these storms is an insult to anyone with common sense. Scientists can and do agree that Harvey and Irma were made worse by the effects of climate change. Sea levels are rising to due to melting glaciers, the oceans are becoming warmer and this makes for the perfect storm and causes hurricanes to be more intense. Harvey dumped a record 51 inches of rain and Irma was the strongest storm that the Atlantic has ever seen. And the season isn’t over yet. We are expected to get more storms that will be just as intense if not more. This isn’t over yet.
To deny what is happening right now and deny climate change is naïve and dangerous. It goes against science and it goes against common sense. This pattern that we see with intense storms, rising oceans, drought and fires is only going to get worse. That is the bad news. The good news is that we can control what we do. We can embrace the science and make small changes that can have a huge difference. It won’t fix everything, but we can make sure that Mother Earth is here for our children and grandchildren. We can literally clean up our act and not force the generations that come after do it for us.