It’s hot in the East Bay, where I live, in the summer. High temperatures are typically in the low to mid nineties with an occasional foray into triple digits. The operative word is “occasional,” and when those occasions occur, they usually last a day or two.
But those days of the low to mid nineties being the norm and triple digits being a relatively rare exception seem to have passed us by, as can be seen by the forecasted temperatures in my town over these next six days. And this is likely to get worse due to — dare I say it? — climate change.
In his Editor’s Letter in this week’s issue of The Week magazine, William Falk wrote:
The contention that climate change isn’t real has gone poof! in a wisp of smoke, like a piece of paper held under a magnifying glass on a 100-degree day. But there are still those who contend that rapidly reducing the use of fossil fuels would be too painful a price to pay, and that rather than succumb to “alarmism,” humanity should learn to “adapt” to a hotter planet.
Falk goes on to give a number of examples of the devastating effects of climate change around the globe. He adds, “All this comes after just 2 degrees Fahrenheit of warming so far. Without a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases, we may be heading for a rise of 3 degrees F in two decades, with more to come.”
As the pandemic has shown, our species is prone to kicking the can down the road, to selfishly putting off the change and sacrifice needed to avoid collective future catastrophe. But what if the future shows up early?
As the late George Allen, the great head coach of the Washington Redskins football team said when he was named head coach in 1971, “The future is now.” But unlike his football team, the future of our planet looks pretty bleak.