Residents in Texas and along the Gulf Coast have become accustomed in recent years to a seemingly-endless onslaught of devastating hurricanes barreling up from the Gulf of Mexico.
Hurricane Harvey a few years ago dumped more rain and caused more flooding than any weather event in the region’s history.
However, even with the hurricane season long-over, this part of the nation is being subjected to a weather event that has knocked out the region’s power grid, leaving millions of residents without in the dark and without heat.
But instead of coming from the south, this latest force of nature has surged from the north thanks to a dip in the polar vortex from the Arctic. The result has been a cataclysmic storm that has crippled the entire region.
It’s one thing to be without power amidst warm weather, but quite another to be without power when the temperatures are dipping to near-zero.
Climate change is not simply about global warming — though it’s true that the earth’s average temperature has continued to climb year-after-year for the past decade.
Climate change also is about extreme weather of the sort that wreaks havoc in unexpected ways.
The Texas power grid was completely unprepared for the near-zero temperature conditions that have struck that part of the country, with the result that millions of people are facing a dire, life-threatening situation.
Climate change is arriving faster than anyone predicted — and whatever window we have to reverse course is closing rapidly, if it already isn’t too late.
Yes, the pandemic is demanding our immediate attention, but climate change needs to be addressed urgently — because if we fail to do so, the worst is yet to come.