At the start of World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt reportedly said to his aides, “So far, the news is all bad,” referring to the reports from the front in the immediate aftermath of Pearl Harbor when the Japanese were taking unopposed control of territory throughout the Pacific.
That’s the way we’ve been feeling lately about the matter of our changing climate and the resulting degradation of the environment in every corner of the planet. Week after week, all we hear and see is bad news about the negative effects of climate change.
At the beginning of the year, there were the terrible images of the continent of Australia, literally on fire, with great clouds of smoke suffocating the populace and even affecting the people of New Zealand, which is 1,300 miles across the sea. There also were the estimated hundreds of millions of wildlife creatures who were consumed by flames that became so hot that they formed a phenomena known as a fire tornado.
In the middle of January, we in the Boston area, along with most of the Northeast, experienced record-high temperatures that reached 70 degrees on back-to-back days for the first time ever in the supposedly-coldest month of the year.
Europe also experienced its warmest-ever January.
The warm winter trend has continued into February. Just this past weekend, as we were watching the local news, the weatherman said that the average temperature in Boston thus far in February is a whopping 8.8 degrees above normal.
Last week, it was reported that the highest-ever temperature, 64.9 degrees, was recorded in Antarctica, a reading that was comparable to the high temperatures in the southern half of the U.S. on that day. Similarly, last summer saw record-setting high temperatures in the Arctic Circle at the earth’s northern pole.
Bob Dylan wrote, “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” Similarly, none of us need the experts to tell us that climate change is happening at a far greater rate than even the most dire of forecasts had predicted just a few years ago — the evidence is all around us. (And at the other end of the political spectrum, we certainly do not need bozo politicians in Washington telling us that climate change is NOT happening).
Those of us who live in the Greater Boston area are among the most at risk for the twin dangers of climate change posed by rising sea levels and massive storms.
The inescapable reality facing us simply seems to be this: Given the inaction of our federal government leaders to reduce carbon emissions, which are at the root of climate change, it would appear that our way of life as we know it is all but doomed, as the impact of climate change grows by degrees, literally and figuratively, day-by-day.