Creation Care Corner

As I write this on the first day of summer 2024, it’s becoming clear that many things climate-related are increasingly extreme this year.  It’s true that individual weather events and seasonal trends are not entirely due to climate change, but the frequency and severity of these events is.  A list of some of these things puts the whole climate-change issue into a kind of scary perspective.

 

In a recent 2-week period we had at least 4 storms with high winds here in Rhinelander.  A record number of 24 tornadoes have occurred in Wisconsin this spring; the total for all of last year was 21.

As I write this, there are heat advisories stretching from the central US to the Northeast US and Canada.  Heat advisories aren’t normally issued until July or August. There are currently 65 million people under heat alerts in the US. Temperatures over 100 degrees are being experienced in many major cities in the southern half of the US.  More deaths occur from high heat than from fires or floods. Public buildings with air conditioning are being opened for respite from high temperatures.

 

Recently on our local news it was reported that the DNR study of Crescent Lake’s lack of natural walleye reproduction is likely because of warmer water due to climate change. This spring the ice went out very early in many lakes in our area, re-froze, then opened up again.  In the 52 years I have lived here, that has never happened.

 

In the Northeast, temperatures are 10 to 20 degrees above normal.  New Hampshire, Bangor, Maine, and eastern Canada are not accustomed to temperatures reaching 100 degrees, and many there do not have air conditioning. Our son on the east coast of Canada had to send all their workers in the oyster business home because it was dangerous to work outside.

 

There is flooding in Texas from the first named tropical storm of 2024, with 17 to 23 tropical storms and hurricanes predicted for this year.  Two more are already forming in the Atlantic.  These storms are due to high ocean temperatures, and historically don’t begin until late summer.

 

There has again been an early start to the wildfires in the western US.  In Southern California and New Mexico fires are causing evacuations of towns and homes.   The brother of our friend lost his entire house to a wildfire.  Remember when the southwest fires began in August?

 

The month of May 2024 capped 12 consecutive months of record high temperatures worldwide, according to the European Union.

 

This list is not comprehensive, just recent observations I have made. I try to end these articles with steps we can take to help.  I can offer that the US is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with an average of $20 Billion per year, according to “Climate Scorecard”.  Balance this with big oil profits of $273.55 Billion, nearly twice their profits in 2019 before the Covid epidemic hit. It seems we are giving them money to overcharge us.  Big Oil’s scientists reported to the industry 47 years ago about the effects of CO2 on climate, but they kept it secret.

Also think very hard about how you vote in upcoming elections for US Representatives, US Senators, and President. One party is promising to remove all climate-change rules, and restrictions on the fossil fuel industry. I don’t think our country or the world can withstand that.

 

AND BE SURE TO VOTE.

Sandy McKitrick, Climate Care Team