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"Good weather", dusty skis, and shorts in October - a poem on the changing climate

October 23, 2017

This graph, based on the comparison of atmospheric samples contained in ice cores and more recent direct measurements, provides evidence that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution. (Credit: Vostok ice core data/J.R. Petit et al.; NOAA Mauna Loa CO2 record.)

 

It's late October in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States...

 

When people at the office talk about

the weekend, we all include the words: "good weather"

 

"Can't complain," he says, "about wearing shorts in October!" I nod my head and smile.

 

My neighbor says he would rather rake leaves, than shovel snow. I nod my head and smile. Then I realize: We like it.  We like the warmer weather.

 

Climate change isn't the "end of the world" like environmentalists and climate scientists might suggest. It's the end of shoveling snow, scraping windows, itchy sweaters, bulky hats that mess up our hair.

 

I remember picking up my daughter many years ago at preschool. The school was at a small college and they were using a space under the boys dormitory. When I arrived, water was streaming into the preschool from the floor above. The kids were scared. Toys were ruined. Teachers were annoyed.

 

The source of this calamity?  College boys taking lengthy and raucous showers on the floor above.  They had no idea they were flooding a preschool. They were enjoying a nice warm shower.

 

We are like these boys. Enjoying ourselves and our "good weather" 

and not seeing the damage

on the floor below,

on the kids at play,

today and

tomorrow.

 

Epilogue:  I grew up cross-country skiing in Glacier National Park.  I bought my own skis several years ago. They gather dust in our basement now. Not much use without good snow. And Glacier Park is losing all reasons for its name.

Boulder glacier in Glacier National Park (1935 vs 2005). Source: NPR

 

 

 

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