6:58 PM EDT, May 31, 2011
"Go West, Young Man..." When Horace Greeley printed those words he was talking about what awaited farmers and their families in the fertile valleys of parts of the west. Thousands of families took up that mantra, accepted the challenges of actually getting there, and set themselves up with a new life for generations.
That was then and this is now, and I doubt there are a lot of people who move to, say, Phoenix to be farmers. They move for the sunny, warm and dry weather. And with the weather we have around here it sure does sound enticing.
Well, it would be best for your children and generations beyond if you ignored that lure.
A friend of mine recently told me if I want to make a point about what is happening to planet earth, don’t use the phrases global warming or climate change because they just tick off some people. Apparently there is now a third-less offensive phrase but I forgot what it is. So I am sticking with the first two because they are apt, and the growing amount of evidence can only be ignored by fools.
In April the Interior Department issued a dire study on what is happening and will happen in the American west. By the end of this century water flow in five of the region’s largest river basins could be cut by about 20 per cent. These basins feed areas that have already seen marked increases in population and increased droughts in the last few decades: Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Texas.
The Interior Department study also predicts a temperature increase of 5 to 7 degrees in these areas. Less water and more heat is a potentially deadly combination.
So, you say, that’s the west’s problem. The problem is everywhere. Did you know that Chicago has been quietly implementing a plan for what its weather will be like at the turn of the century? According to the SCIENTIFIC evidence accumulated by the city for years, the weather in Chicago will be closer to that of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The city is already planting trees that are more native to the Deep South than the Midwest.
I could go on and on but it would just be frustrating. Until our federally-elected leaders actually lead on climate change, nothing will happen. Some are just dumber than rocks, but others are pawns of powerful forces that spend millions of dollars to prevent change that could impact their bottom lines.
The real bottom line is trying to do the right thing for our children and beyond.
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