Monday, July 9, 2007

WEATHER IN CHAOS: WHO PAYS?


They say ignorance is bliss but when it comes to the weather it ignorance can be a bitter pill to swallow. I normally keep up on the latest news and I especially keep an eye on the weather since climate change is a frequent topic in my articles and blogs. For the past few weeks I had been busy readying the release of my next book, “Jesus Taught It, Too: The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction” and signing a contract for another book to be released late fall called, “Raping Louisiana: A Diary of Deceit.” While I was well aware of the heat wave out West and the deluge in Texas and other Western states, all had seemed relatively quiet on the climate change front-at I thought all was quiet.

Last night I went to check the weather on the internet and decided to take a look at the latest weather headlines. I have to admit to having been shocked to see so many weather disaster stories. I listen to NPR each morning and glance at our local paper everyday but with one or two exceptions, I did not pick up any of the headlines that follow. When the stories are scattered between many news reports I guess the enormity of the issue gets diluted. But when you begin to list the headlines in one place, a totally different picture emerges. On one site, these were the weather related stories and headlines:


94 Dead in China floods, landslides
South Dakota floods kill…
Indian floods death toll up…
Bush declares disaster area in Oklahoma…
Texas declares worst flooding in 50 years…
Heat moving eastward…
Flooded city in Kansas assesses damage…
Western US states swelter under record heat wave…
Country’s wettest June on record…
Tornado kills…in China…
Pakistanis set up flood rescue…
Weather extremes whither LA…
Pakistani monsoon victims riot…
Dallas looks like Seattle…
Climate change factor in Chile’s lake vanishing…
2007 seen as second warmest year…
Fires rage across sizzling Greece…
Scorching heat, floods wreak havoc across Europe…
Indian flood toll up, millions left stranded…
More heat ahead for sweltering west…

If you look a little deeper, even more stories arise concerning possible flooding from melting glaciers in Tibet, floods and deaths in England and Europe and general horror stories that are climate related.

We have also heard about many scientists claiming that the world’s climate is nearing a catastrophic tipping point and that unless changes in our carbon emissions happen soon, we could be in for real trouble. Of course, looking at the above headlines it would appear that we are already in trouble. Of course other stories say that policy makers are working on finding ways to reduce carbon emissions and sometime in the next 20 years we might get 30 miles per gallon for fleet averages. It makes you want to shout, “Hello is anyone paying attention to what is happening to the climate right now?”

American auto makers complain that converting to alternative fuels of greatly increasing fleet mileages would be too costly. Producers of electricity that use coal as their energy source say that making coal plants cleaner will cost too much money. All of our political and industry leaders say that having a clean planet will cost too much money. It really begs the question. What is the cost of the floods, heat waves, raging fires in terms of property and lives? Florida officials say that they need “five feet” of rain to make up for water deficiencies to quench the thirst of existing populations and to accommodate new development. Perhaps if the sea rises, that will no longer be an issue. Millions, if not billions of dollars are being lost now to climate chaos.

Our actions and inactions of yesterday are causing the consequences of today. Today, we are doing little to alter our ways and have no real solid plans for change for at least the next twenty years. If the weather headlines we see now are the harbinger of things to come, everyone had better strap in for we are in for quite the ride. It is also said that knowledge is power but that is wrong. It is the use of knowledge that is power and one can only hope that people wake up and pay closer attention to what is happening in the world now if we want to still have a world tomorrow.

2 comments:

Malathy said...

I am looking forward to your next book,"Jesus Taught It, Too: The Early Roots of the Law of Attraction”.

This is my favorite topic.

Philip Harris said...

It will be out shortly and will make a general announcement everywhere! Thank you.