Now it's so hot in Europe that dogs are having to wear shoes. While a nice sunny day may seem like the perfect time for a stroll with your pet pooch, Swiss police are urging dog owners to cover their pets' paws.
Better be glad if you live in such a mild climate -- like Florida -- in the summer. Recently, it was 46C in Portugal and 45C in Spain. That's 115F for all of us non-metric weather watchers.
Weather is not the same everywhere, including at the end of my street. That is the same for climate and for global warming. Temperatures in some parts of the earth, like the Arctic and Antarctic, are changing very rapidly, and other parts are changing so as to hardly notice -- like Florida.
Yes it still is "as hot as Spain" literally, instead of hot as hell figuratively, on a summer day. Yet there is more to weather than just temperature. Suffice it to say it is hot everywhere comparably, if not during the day, at night, or at least warmer during periods of the winter months.
2014 -2017 were the hottest years on record and 2018 is set to join them. El Niño will most likely be here again this winter. Record heat years occur with El Niños and cooler years with La Niñas. La Niña did appear briefly but she stuck her head out and El Niño was still lurking so she went to Newfoundland for relief. So now we can expect 2019 or 2020 to set new records.
There is a lot we know about climate change and a lot we don't know. While the earth has experienced warming and cooling periods throughout its existence, it has never experienced anything quite so drastic as our current warming temperatures. We are compressing as much warming as has occurred in the past millennial periods into centuries and decades.
What we don't know is how precisely our weather will actually respond to the rapid change in global temperature we are currently experiencing in the climate.
We are quickly running out of time in order to avoid major disruptions on the minor end of our economic well-being to the drastic question of our own survival as a species. We just don't know for sure how bad it might be if we reach 2, 3, 4, 5, or more degrees centigrade higher than pre-industrial temperatures.
Rest assured we will suffer from the other results of climate change long before we suffer from global warming. Whether it be economic disaster from storms, droughts that limit the global food supply, immigrants on the move, or chaos evoked by authoritarian leaders seeking to make short-term gains, the disruptions from climate change will be diverse, drastic, and affect all economic classes, rich and poor.
We know what is causing global warming and the change in climate this time around. It is greenhouse gas emitted by human economic activity. We know how to limit it and have the technology to prevent it from happening. What we lack is the global political and economic will. As long as the United States retards the progress, we can not expect the rest of the world to carry the weight of the largest economy on its shoulders.
Most deniers of global warming stand in the way of addressing the problem not because they really deny the science, but because they are betting that weather changes are not that sensitive to global warming and there is plenty of time to act after they have extracted their short-term profits and advantages. But the ill effects of global warming are now and will only get worse with time.
What is clear though is that the economic health of the world, and particularly the US and other industrial countries, lies not in extracting profits from that which causes global warming but that which solves it. The world stands at the first step of the greatest industrial revolution from which most will prosper to prevent global warming as we change the way we create and conserve energy.
All that must happen is for us to take that step and make that commitment.
Global warming will not be prevented by recycling, limiting personal carbon footprints, refusing to invest in fossil fuels, or marching on Washington, Brussels, Moscow, Beijing, Brasilia, or New Delhi. It will be prevented by showing up at the ballot box in overwhelming numbers to overcome those that would circumvent the appropriate democratic response to global warming. In the US, that is the Republican party and they must be defeated now and forever until they reform.
Our job is easy but is now. There is little sacrifice or expense. It is simply show up at the voting booth and bring everyone else with you.
Robert Jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf.com with his wife Marie T Russell. InnerSelf is dedicated to sharing information that allows people to make educated and insightful choices in their personal life, for the good of the commons, and for the well-being of the planet. InnerSelf Magazine is in its 30+year of publication in either print (1984-1995) or online as InnerSelf.com. Please support our work.
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