BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!  Our scientists, have sounded the alarm, ok, written. Climate change is happening and we, the people, are causing it. Our global smoke detector is doing its job. I hope all of you noticed the report, FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT, released on November 23, 2018…Black Friday. We have twelve years to reduce fossil fuel emissions in half!

To quote, “In the absence of more significant global mitigation efforts, climate change is projected to impose substantial damages on the U.S. economy, human health, and the environment. Under scenarios with high emissions and limited or no adaptation, annual losses in some sectors are estimated to grow to hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century. It is very likely that some physical and ecological impacts will be irreversible for thousands of years, while others will be permanent.”

What do you do when you hear your smoke detector go off? I don’t know about you, but I look for the cause. Fire?! Dead battery? Burnt toast? (We have an alarm at the edge of our kitchen. It’s my excuse not to cook these days) In this case it’s a fire, no, many fires. “Fossil fuel combustion accounts for 77% of the total U.S. GHG emissions.”  (GHG = greenhouse gas)

What next? Sound the alarm and put out the fires!

Aooga! Clang! Clang! Clang! The bell has sounded and we have a limited time to put out the fire(s) before we suffer irreversible problems!

What!??? You still don’t believe in human-caused climate change? Well, I do, and I understand the results from no, or too little, action. We’re talking:

  1. Mass starvation – could that be the real reason for the wall? To keep starving people out of our country?
  2. Continual environmental battering from intensified hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires – expect property insurance and FEMA to skyrocket. Snow bird? No, It will be hurricane birds or wildfire birds as people temporarily migrate. Will Tornado Alley expand to Tornado Highway?
  3. Extreme heat – Yes, we are changing our beautiful Earth from a greenhouse to a solar oven…same scientific principle, just higher temperatures. Ask Phoenix residents what it’s like on days above 120F.
  4. Long-term droughts – Especially in the southwest, including Colorado. BTW, Los Angeles and Phoenix, that puts you in a pickle as you get much of your water from the Colorado River. Texas and New Mexico are already battling over the Rio Grande, and don’t even get me started on fracking in our aquifer. Water is sooo precious. Without it our crops will not survive and neither will we.

Okay, let’s try that again. CLANG! CLANG! CLANG! Let’s put out the fires! 

Where are they? In our gas-powered cars, gas water and home heaters, and gas cooktops. Interestingly enough, electricity IS a clean energy, especially if you make it using renewables, like solar, wind, geothermal, and hydro. Put some on your roof, now, OR make sure your electric company is moving fast to 100% renewables. We have just twelve (12) years to cut our emissions in half and another twenty (by 2050) to get close to ZERO emissions or no increase in GHGs.

What are you waiting for? Twelve is a nice round, understandable number. Let’s begin there. Sprint if you can, but don’t just stand there gawking! Don’t know what you can do? Join NMSEA and find out.

The countdown has begun. TWELVE!