There are 33 wildfires currently burning covering about 80,000 acres in the Southeast. The fires are being fueled by brush and trees parched from months of drought. Thirty miles northwest of my home 3,300 acres are burning. My community has been in a haze of smoke for the last three weeks. Today, is a very smoky day.
Part of the area that is burning is a state park my wife and I enjoying hiking and exploring. We were there two months ago on crisp September morning with our daughter’s puppy trying to wear him out. After a moderately difficult four mile hike, exploring seemingly every rock, tree and stream our grand-puppy was worn out though he did catch his second wind later.
Despite what the President-Elect has stated, climate change is not a hoax. I am no scientist and honestly I don’t need to be a scientist to know that climate change is a real threat. All I need to do today is look out my window and see the smoke or look at all the trees, bushes and shrubs I lost this year due to the drought.
And now the President-Elect has chosen an Environmental Protection Agency transition head who doesn’t believe in science, in fact he is a renowned climate denier, Myron Ebell. Don’t know Mr. Ebell? He leads the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Koch Brothers supported organization (don’t know the Koch’s look them up) whose platform includes questioning all the “global warming alarmism” and who receives donations from major polluters like Exxon, Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66 and Murray Energy. He opposes policies that protect clean air and water and he has a history of supporting policies that protect polluter profits over public health. He sounds like a real steward of the environment doesn’t he?
Now I could talk about the racist the President-Elect has chosen as the attorney general, Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions, III (yes he is Southern, could you guess) but I will save that for another post. This is important, this is worthy of an email or call to your Senator. This guy is the friend of the petroleum, coal and energy industries and the enemy of the environment, think polar bears with no ice caps, Miami underwater.
According to Stephen Hawking’s, a pretty smart guy, he predicts that at the current rate that we are destroying this planet we only have about 1,000 years left on Earth. He is recommending we step up our efforts to find a new celestial home. Sounds like a long time right? I know to a 70-year-old President-Elect it does but that is really only 14 generations. And think about it, if year 1,000 is “we got to get off this rock” how bad will it be at year 500?
Here is the problem with climate change, the collective “we” can’t see beyond a generation or two. Also, the collective “we” ignore the subtle and seemingly slow changes happening. But when I look out my window and see the smoke. When I see the dead Dogwoods and Azaleas in my yard. When I pedal by the dry lakes, ponds and rivers in my area I see the not so subtle changes today. We think a good rain, or a cold winter will make it all better but it won’t. That is our short-sighted view, our generational view. We need to change our view and we need to change it Today! Lets start by having someone in the head spot that understands and believes that we are destroying our planet, our home.
“Some scientists believe climate change is the cause of unprecedented melting of the North Pole, and that effects these very uncertain weather patterns. I think we should listen to those scientists and experts.” – Dalai Lama