Climate Change and Me

Climate-Change Evidence Right Here

Even were the scientific evidence not overwhelming, I can look at my backyard and tell that something monumental is afoot.

My wife and I arrived in Union County in 1965. For 35 years thereafter, we had droughts every July or August, occasionally both. Our lawn was brown during these months despite the dribble of rain in either month. I had to water the shrubbery around our house constantly.

For the past three years, not only have I not had to water the shrubbery, our lawn has not turned brown a single day in July or August. Our lawn is mown every Wednesday, but for the past three years it has required mowing occasionally twice a week. My lawn had been lush and luxurious throughout July and August.

In the winters of our first five years here, so much snow fell that, when the snowplow passed, it left snow banks on the side of the road so high our children could dig tunnels in them. Since 1993, less and less snow has fallen each winter. When the snow plow passes it only rips up the edges of our still green lawn. These changes are good, right? I shouldn’t complain.

We all know that the warmer air is, the more moisture it carries. That means more rain, but also more floods. The first 30 years or so we never had even flash floods in July and August. This year they are frequent throughout Pennsylvania. All three roads leading away from my backyard pass over streams. If climate change continues at the current pace, central Pennsylvania will have more and more ever-larger floods.

Moving farther away from my backyard, we find that nine of the 10 costliest hurricanes in American history have struck since 2005. The 1972 100-year flood in Lewisburg was caused by Hurricane Agnes moving up the Eastern Seaboard. Larger hurricanes mean 100-year floods will come closer together.

We received a new warning recently from the Wednesday farmer’s market in Lewisburg. Peaches were on sale because this year they are growing and ripening faster than they can be sold. The shorter growing seasons will also be unpredictable. They will not drop smoothly, but some years they will drop more sharply, other years they will rise less sharply. This will present hardships on the farmers in my neighborhood. The temperature range is what is dropping.

You want proof that industrialization is the cause? If you Google “climate change normal cycle” you will get hundreds of reliable websites with proof. You will find hard proof from satellites, tree rings, CO2 isotopes, to mention only three. The research proving global warming is anthropogenic is massive.

Global warming is upon us in central Pennsylvania. We have only two political parties in the U.S. The Republican Party is filled with climate-change deniers, supported by oil and coal industries. President Trump claims it is a Chinese hoax. The Democrats are solidly behind green technology and international treaties like the Paris protocol.

I’m voting Democratic in November for the sake of the little piece of America that I live on.

Bloomsburg Press Enterprise, September 3, 2018

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