The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer
Robert A. Levine
Has the GOP reached a point yet where they accept that climate change is real and that America and all nations must do something about it before we are all baked in place. Temperatures above 100 degrees have become the norm intermittently in much of the nation, especially the Southwest, California and parts of the Midwest. In fact, in some of these areas, the daily temperature is over 110 degrees on a regular basis. Even high in the Rocky Mountains in Denver, the temperature has been above 100 degrees.
To make matters worse, many of the above regions are facing severe droughts, with minimal rainfall to replenish the usual sources. Lakes, reservoirs, ground water and places dependent on the Colorado River are all lacking water, to the point where some areas are considering rationing water supplies. Snowfall last winter was also sparse, so snowmelt is not replacing the water lost, as normally happens during the spring. In addition to making it tough for residents of these areas, it is making it impossible for farmers to grow crops and feed livestock. Some meteorologists believe that these dry spells are not a one year occurrence but have been part of a decades’ long drought that shows no sign of abating.
Because of the arid conditions and the heat, wildfires have been spreading at an alarming rate in a number of states. Residences, forests, businesses and farms have all been under threat with a great deal of destruction last year. We are still awaiting the start of the wildfire season this year.
Yes, climate change is real. Parts of Africa and the Middle East have also been hit by drought. In fact, the lack of water has been responsible for migration as much as war and conflict. Many African farmers cannot grow grain or raise livestock and severe famine is present in some regions because of the lack of rainfall. Parts of Southern Asia are also suffering from draught and accompanying famine.
Dealing with climate change is imperative for the world as we know it to survive. If the average temperature on earth continues to rise, we can expect more droughts, more famines, more migration and more wars. Fertility rates are also going down in the Western world, China, Japan and Korea. Many nations including the United States are not producing enough children to replace those who die. Whether or not this is related in some way to the weather is uncertain, but sperm are not as active when exposed to heat and this could possibly contribute to infertility.
Like the Covid 19 pandemic, climate change is an emergency and must be addressed by the world’s population before it is too late. In addition to taking immediate measures to reduce global warming, like reducing fossil fuel use, governments should be spending money on desalination plants to make sure that adequate drinking water supplies are available for everyone. If the process becomes cheap enough, perhaps the water produced from the oceans can also be used for watering crops and other necessary processes. But building these plants should be started at once, perhaps powered by sunlight or wind. Are any state of federal governments thinking about desalination?
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