Tag Archives: Climate change

Climate is changing … period

Let’s be sure to wait for what’s to come this winter, as it likely will drive many environmentally conscious Americans to the verge of screaming out loud.

We have endured a searing summer, with high-temperature records falling seemingly every day. It has become almost a given in weather-watching circles that severe summers usually precede severe winters. We’ll go from very hot to very cold.

What will be the mantra we can expect to hear? It will come from climate-change deniers who, when trying to stay warm during the next frigid winter, will express open doubt that Earth indeed is getting warmer.

Let’s hold on for a moment, eh?

There’s a simple difference between the terms “weather” and “climate.” Weather is intended to examine day-to-day events. Climate looks at the longer term. So, when someone says the climate isn’t changing because it’s cold on a given winter day, then he or she is blowing it out of his backside.

Many of us prefer the current term of art, which is “climate change,” rather than “global warming.”

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association reports damn near every year about how our climate events are getting more frequent and more severe.

Of course, the linchpin argument centers on the reasons for the intense change. I happen to be one American patriot who believes human beings are significantly responsible for the change in our climate. Thus, I won’t listen to the climate-change deniers.

We are throwing carbon emissions into the air; we are cutting trees and removing plant life that turns carbon dioxide into oxygen. This isn’t happening by itself. It is happening because human beings are acting irresponsibly.

I am preparing for a severe winter. I also am getting ready to listen to the doubters who will deny the obvious, that our climate is changing.

A break on the way?

You have heard it said, I am certain, that “only a TV weatherman or woman can be so wrong, so often, and still have a job.” 

Well, kids, I heard a gem today from a Dallas/Fort Worth TV weatherman who said, with the sound of metaphysical certitude in his voice, that our oppressive heat is about to end.

He said “in a day or two” we are going to see temperatures plunge from the near-record 100-degree-plus temps to the 80s and then the 70s. It got my attention, to be sure.

I have boasted about my adaptability. Well, it has its limits. I never have liked extreme heat. For that matter, I don’t do well with extreme cold, either … but I won’t go there.

I am going to take this TV talking head at his word that the summer blast is coming to an end.

Toby the Puppy and I are getting ready to leave Princeton for a few days near the end of the month. I am hoping against all hope that we don’t run into any more of this furnace-like weather as we proceed westward.

I am ready for an end to it. If the weather guys and gals are wrong this time … they need to be canned!

Yep, climate is changing

The heat that is bearing down on us in Texas has quelled the arguments too often heard from those who deny the obvious.

Which is that Earth’s climate is changing … and that human beings are largely responsible for the intense warming we’re experiencing.

We keep setting heat records in the Dallas/Fort Worth area damn near daily. The weather forecasters look down the calendar for the next week to 10 days and they say the same thing: No relief is in sight.

Now, I truly understand the difference between weather and climate. It’s just that the current weather is acting like a harbinger of what we can expect in the years — maybe decades — to come.

National weather organizations tell us constantly that months are getting warmer; our ocean water is getting warmer, spurring more intense storms.

Many news networks long ago quit interviewing climate change deniers, telling us their arguments are not valid, that they promote lies. I’m fine with that.

And so, here we are. The summer of 2023 has been a brutal event so far.

I am ready for autumn. Then again, that remains the same as it has been for as long as I can remember.

Until then, I am quite content to live without listening to the crap offered by those who deny the obvious.

Heat wave: not a new issue

All this chatter about how hot the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean have become during this murderous summer heat wave reminds me of an episode my family and I experienced in the early 1990s.

We were living in Beaumont, Texas. One weekend I was mowing the lawn during a heat wave; the temperature was in the high 90s, the humidity was the same. It felt like 200 degrees out there.

Finally, I quit mowing. I walked inside and announced to my wife and sons, “We’re going to the beach!” We packed up our 1987 Honda Civic with coolers full of drinks, beach towels, a couple of folding chairs … and off we drove.

We headed south toward the Gulf of Mexico, we hung a left at Sabine Pass and drove to Holly Beach, La., one of our favorite — and unexplored — resorts on the coast. We drove our Honda onto the beach, piled out of the car and ran into the surf.

My … God! The water had to be 100 degrees!

So, this is my way of telling you that what we’re experiencing these days is nothing new. Am I dismissing the climate change/global warming arguments? Not … one … bit!

I am going to submit that the human impact on our climate has been decades in the making and that its effect has been felt long before what many of us are experiencing in the summer of 2023.

We are pouring carbon emissions into the air; we are ridding the planet of trees that replace the carbon dioxide with oxygen. Plenty of politicians have warned us that we are approaching — or have surpassed already — the point of no return. Others, including scientists, say we can still save this planet of ours.

We had better get busy. As of this very moment, it’s the only planet we have in this vast universe.


Have to wait for tee time

Dang it! I was looking forward to teeing it up later this week with some fellows who attend a church I recently joined.

Yes, it’s another turn on my retirement journey. I had (more or less) given up the game of golf. But today I dusted off my clubs, hit the driving range to pound at a bucket of balls and made two quick discoveries.

  1. I haven’t forgotten how to hit a golf ball.
  2. My right shoulder that had been giving me fits allows me to take a full swing with a golf club.

Then came the bad news. The weather forecast for the date of our golf event in McKinney has the temps hitting 105 degrees with a heat index surpassing 110.

The fellow who coordinated the event asked all of us for our thoughts. It’s too hot, we said in unison. He called it off.

Jeez! It’s not even July yet! Damn climate change!


Happy Earth Day … Earth

Dear Earth … well, this is your day. We human inhabitants of the only planet we can call home celebrate you and presumably give thanks for being alive and well enough to wish you good health.

Agreed, your health ain’t great. We human beings are doing our best (or shall I say our worst) to mess you up. Your climate is changing. Our planet is getting hotter every year. I keep reading about how glaciers are melting at a quicker rate than expected. Yes, I know what happens to that glacial ice: It turns to water and the sea levels are rising, endangering our seaside communities around the world.

The debate has pretty much ended about whether human beings are responsible for it. We are. We keep wiping out forests and we keep pouring carbon-based pollutants into the air. On behalf of my fellow humans, I apologize for the mistreatment we have laid on you.

I want to boast just a bit, Mother Earth, about what we’re doing in our North Texas community to help you. I live in a community, Princeton, that recycles expendable items. The disposal company gives us bins into which we can toss our recyclable material: plastic, paper, metal. It all goes in there and I am told that it reduces landfill waste by about 40%. That’s not bad.

Mother Earth, I am sure you remember the era in which the U.S. government decided to honor you. It came in 1970, when a Republican served as president. Yes, it was President Nixon who thought enough of you to establish the Environmental Protection Agency. Ah, yes. Those were the days.

Imagine a MAGA Republican today endorsing such a thing. It won’t happen … but that’s another story for another day.

I just want to wish you well, Earth and I want to call on my neighbors and fellow Americans — along with my fellow terrestrial travelers — to honor you every single day we all are able.


The ‘river’ has arrived!

EUREKA, Calif. — I set out this morning headed northward from the San Francisco Bay Area, and with forecasters predicting a return visit of that Atmospheric River.

My sister expressed some faint hope that they would get it wrong.

They didn’t. It arrived with a vengeance … again!

I drove into the sucker from Oakland and it never dried out when I landed at my next stop just south of the Oregon border.

To be honest, I totally get why our California countrymen and women are tired of the wind, rain, and “wintry mix” that doesn’t seem to let up. We’re now well into the spring season and it feels damn near like winter.

You are welcome to spare the notion that the prolonged cold doesn’t mean our “climate is changing.” It damn sure is changing, so I won’t debate anyone here on the merits of climate change.

I just had hoped to avoid that “atmospheric river” nonsense on this westward trek. Hey, it has taken my mind off the sad event of a month ago that prompted me to leave my house in North Texas.

So, the trek continues into Oregon, the state where I came into this world more than seven decades ago … and where it rains for three days before anyone even notices.


Water, water everywhere

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The hours-long drive along California Highway 99 opened my eyes to the ravages that Mother Nature has brought to this wonderful part of the country.

They have water here. Too much water!

The playas are full; some of them are overflowing. I ventured across several bridges spanning rivers. I glanced at the rivers as I sped by. Lete me be clear: I don’t know what the “normal” streamflow looks like for the San Joaquin River, but what I saw as I glanced at the river was far from what I am certain is normal.

I got a text message from my sister in Santa Cruz, telling me it was “pouring” once more. I’ll be heading that direction in a couple of days. She did tell me the other day that if her neighborhood is underwater that “the entire city is gone,” which is her way of telling me they’re fairly safe from the deluge. I do hope so.

The weather forecasters apparently are in love with the term “atmospheric river,” which sounds like a cool term to use to describe the torrents that have fallen for the past several weeks. I’ll say, though, that the current term du jour is more appealing than “bomb cyclone,” which has been used to describe previous events of this magnitude.

There well could be more of this madness awaiting me as I continue my travel north from the Bay Area in a few days. I plan to see my niece in Eureka, which is on the coast just south of the Oregon border.

A respite from The Flood would be so nice. Indeed, I believe the good folks here have enough water to last them a while.


Happy birthday, Mr. POTUS

Mr. President, I want to be among the millions of Americans who are wishing you a happy birthday.

So … today you are completing your 80th journey around the sun. I wish you many more such trips. Now, allow me to get to the point of this greeting.

You say you “intend” to seek re-election in 2024. I don’t read that as a definite “yes, I am a candidate for another four years as president.” You have said something about being a believer in “fate.” Hmm.

Allow me to ask you, as one who voted for you in 2020, to declare your candidacy sooner rather than later.

I get the “fate” part. I believe in fate, too, Mr. President and I also believe that fate occasionally gets in the way of the best-laid plans.

I also believe that you have done a good job as president and I want you to keep doing what you’ve done on my behalf. It hasn’t been a perfect term to be sure. Then again, no president in the history of this republic has governed perfectly. There have been mistakes among even the greatest of the great men who have been elected to this high and noble office.

I supported your election because I believed in 2020 that you represented a return to presidential norms that had been tossed aside by your immediate predecessor. I supported you because I believe that being a “career politician” is not an epithet, but that it is a signal of your commitment to public service. That, too, is something your immediate predecessor never experienced in his entire life preceding his fluke election as POTUS … and it showed during his term in office.

I also supported your election because of your demonstrated record of working with pols on both sides of the great divide and your vast knowledge of the complexities of government.

Your commitment to battling climate change, to seeking a better world that respects human rights, to seeking legislation that can end senseless gun violence, to repairing our infrastructure all are worthy of my continued support. I will support those efforts wholeheartedly.

I also will support your defense of our democratic process that you declared rightly during the midterm election to be “on the ballot.” Our nation cannot condone these attacks on the fundamental principles and tenets that make ours the greatest country on Earth.

Mr. President, I am in your corner.


Yet another salute to first responders

Hurricane Ian has become the latest natural enemy No. 1 to visit the United States of America.

The storm slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast, bringing storm surges that exceeded 12 feet. The death count from the monster storm has yet to be ascertained, but I did hear that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has predicted it could go into “the hundreds.”

Oh, my. We are left where the weather has been gorgeous to pray for the first responders who do what they do, which is they run toward the danger. Firefighters, police officers, medical EMTs all have answered the call, which they promise to do when they pin the badges to their shirts.

Texans who are no strangers to natural calamity have rushed to aid. Oncor, the electric utility, has deployed 500 technicians to help restore power to millions of Floridians. The Cajun navy, comprising residents and their boats headed toward the storm. Texas Baptist Men, long involved in assisting where emergencies arise, again are on the job.

President Biden has declared Florida to be major disaster area, which means the federal government will expedite aid as officials on site ascertain their needs.

That’s what residents of the United States of America do. They rush to the aid of others.

Meanwhile, the rest of the nation can offer plenty of prayer and good karma.