First published on Iowa City Patch on July 13, 2013.
Climate Change is Real
Last week was arguably the best summer weather we have had in many years. Temperatures were moderate and humidity low; some rain, but not too much; and glorious partly cloudy skies coupled with a light breeze. A bit of imitation vanilla extract on the nose, and even swarms of gnats couldn’t spoil the enjoyment.
Everyone I know who has a garden is having an abundant year of produce. Foragers can find plenty of black raspberries, and while the Iowa DNR sprayed the lily pads on Lake Macbride near Solon, one more toxic substance in the water won’t kill us — we hope.
Climate change is real. Any question that greenhouse gases are warming the planet, and are caused by human activity has fallen away to leave the more appropriate one, “what will we do about climate change?” The crazy weather we have been experiencing recedes from view on days like last week, while coal and natural gas power plants continue to dump CO2 pollution into the atmosphere like it was an open sewer to air-condition our homes. There are two issues: protecting what we hold dear from the effects of climate change, and doing something to address the causes of greenhouse gas emissions.
While addressing climate change is complicated, things we can do to help are not. Reduce energy use at home by turning off lights after leaving a room and unplug your computer and mobile phone chargers when they are not in use. Change how we think about transportation by consolidating errands. We should be doing these things anyway.
The point is not to radically change how we live, but to join the vast majority of Americans in acknowledging that climate change is real, and poses a tangible threat to how we live. Then take steps to personally do something about it. You will be glad you did.