It’s been over ten tears since we all started talking very seriously and very intently about the issue of climate change and resultant global warning, pro and con. Over a period of a quarter century, we have been talking about it with debate that was once less serious than it is now.
In that time, summers have gradually a little hotter every year, the continuing increase of an Arctic Sea meltdown, and all that water that has once part of an icy Arctic Sea that has churned into fuel for more virulent local climate changes throughout the world. Certainly on a local level in the Santa Clarita Valley, we have seen the heat and the draught create new kinds of forests that have become more increasingly combustible and burn down more of our houses and trees than ever before.
The argument over these past twenty-five years whether climate change is real or not hasn’t helped. It is like an argument about if the elephant in the room is real or not while that elephant has grown from a baby into a behemoth. But even if the argument has not helped, I can understand why it has existed. Bad news has always invited an argument. It is like the argument between millions of unscientific patients and millions of scientific doctors over the thousands of years on whether the patient is seriously ill or not.
But Doctor, I feel fine, cough, cough.
Nor should any doctor – or anyone – try to create a war between adversaries because of the natural denial toward any bad news, and certainly the evidence of increased global warming around us is anything but good news.
The truth is that our denial stage to global warming has lingered because there is no answer in sight that we can take on to reverse it.
So we are left to do what people have always done when they believe themselves helpless – they concentrate on sticking around, to do what they must to buy time.. This so that time may give us a better answer as to what can be done to control our climate into a more living-friendly factor. Well, sometimes time does give us a better answer, and sometime it does not, but at least the passing of time sometimes does give us a better answer.
Another difficult is speaking generally about the issue of climate change. We live in a culture now that doesn’t seem to listen well to general terms. It seems that any person has a much better chance to be heard while talking not just personally, but in very personal terminology.
For example, here is a general statement about the month of last August by the NCEI (the National Centers for Environmental Information), “August marks 16 consecutive months of record-braking heat for the globe/”
Not that interesting, is it? Well, here is something more interesting. “To save on air conditioning I now wear a minimum of clothing at home, which means I never answer the door anymore..”
Or this more personal reaction to increasing overheating. “When it gets over 100 now, I just stop going to work.”
In fact, the heat affects the elderly more than anyone, just as the elderly are multiplying in our communities because of new medicines to keep them active. But the irony of that is many of the medicines stress the physical body in new ways that adds to the overheating of the environment. There are even some medicines that when taken by the elderly can make 100 degrees feel like 110 degrees.
Here is another more common personal reaction in these overheated days: “Did I leave my dog in the car with the windows up?”
And: “We are spending the days indoors, probably through most of the summer.”
And: “We must no longer leave the town drunks to sleep it off on the streets in the summers. We instead must come by and pick them up to deliver them to certified cooling centers.”
Chris Sharp- Commentary
Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon