What Will We Do?

Climate change has been center stage lately. From marches around our nation to the attention around young climate activist Greta Thunberg and the wildfires in California to Australia. This is an issue that is not going away and deserves our attention.

It is not going unnoticed where I live. When I went outside today, I looked around my yard and saw the evidence of the warming pattern. My encore azaleas are again beginning to bloom as is my loquat tree in front of my porch.

 

Even my daffodils are beginning to push through the dirt. This should not be occurring during the first week in January. It is happening earlier each year.

Saturday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the mid to upper seventies, which is what I erroneously expected when I moved here over eleven years ago. I know the children are yearning for enough snow to ride a sled and build a snowman, but that will happen only if they head for the hills.

Not only is this occurring where I currently live, I have read that my state of birth, New Jersey, is warming at an even faster pace than any other state in the union. Since 1988, the Garden State has warmed at an average monthly temperature of 2.19 degrees, compared with 1.6 degrees in every other state.

It is time to act now. I do not ever recall seeing temperatures over sixty degrees during the month of January when I was a resident in New Jersey, which is the forecast for this weekend.

I am worried. We should all be worried. Why doesn’t every person on the planet see the problem?

It’s Nearly Too Late

When I was young, our house backed up to my mother’s uncle house, whose yard was filled with apple, pear, and cherry trees (not to mention his grape vines). My first house as an adult backed up to a buffer of woods between our property and the homes behind ours.

The house we purchased in New Jersey again backed up to woods, so there was always plenty of wildlife to eat my tulips and woods to play in, which also added a bit of serenity to the view out of the back window.

Our home in Chapel Hill sat on a piece of property half the size of the other two, but the previous owner had built that very serene Japanese garden in the backyard, which always sounded like a gentle rainfall and was quite soothing from my perch in our screened porch. When we rented the house in Atlanta, not only did we have trees again, but also a nice little stream in the back yard to look down upon from our deck.

As I write to you today, I am enjoying my view from the screened porch of house #6, realizing that the time to do this is numbered as the days grow shorter and the temperatures are beginning to drop. I listen to the birds call out to one another, watch the butterflies chase each other on the lantana, peer across the pond at the pine trees along the banks of the water, and look for my friends, Ozzie and Harriet, those two very beautiful white herons which I recently mistook for drones. (I don’t know why but they did!)

This is my favorite view, and as I drive around my town and watch as thousands of beautiful pine trees are decimated to make room for one housing development after another, I realize that views such as mine are disappearing forever.

Bryce told his mom that if he were to run for president, his platform would be to make it illegal to cut down trees. While he is only six and does not realize that a blanket law like that could not be made, he told me that he learned while listening to a podcast that “pretty soon we won’t have good air to breathe.”

So today I went to the library and found two books on global warming for him to read, because although it is happening in my lifetime, my children and grandchildren will be impacted by its effects much more dramatically than me. And Bryce was correct about the loss of good air. One of the books I borrowed for him was written by a scientist, who teamed up with the Smithsonian Institute to write the book. The author mentioned that trees and other green plants covert carbon dioxide into oxygen, but those trees and forests are being cut down in such huge number that there is no longer enough plant life to absorb the carbon dioxide on the planet.

We are in deep trouble, my friends, and while we have so very many problems to repair in this country, in my opinion, if this is not at the top of the list, the other problems will disappear along with the life on this planet. Anyone who chooses to deny this science is ignorant and selfish.