Take the last week here in Atlanta. Please. Each day hotter than the one before, until the daytime high reached 103 degrees. Hardly a cloud in the sky.
We expect a high of 92 today, thanks to some morning clouds, but the only way I could get in a simple Sunday bike ride was to leave practically before sun-up, around 6:30. (It also felt good to be finished and showered by 9:30, but that’s another story I’ll tell another time.)
Fact is that over the last few years weather patterns have gotten more than passing strange. Weather systems no longer travel west-to-east across the U.S. as they once did. Now they seem to go south-to-north, which is why Texas and Oklahoma got soaked this summer while Alabama and Georgia had record drought.
This lack of steering currents is also behind our "benign" hurricane season. The only storms I’ve seen have exhibited the same pattern as the Texas rain — they go south to north, and don’t head in toward the west like bowling balls looking to strike the dangling 10 pin called Florida.
What is happening, in fact, is that the damage from global warming seems to have become irreversible. The Arctic ice sheet is breaking up far more rapidly than supposed, because the dark water left by the ice is accelerating the melt. We won’t know for some time what "normal" weather looks like, anywhere on the globe. And there’s no longer anything we can do to stop it.
We can only hope to contain it.
So why, on my way home the other day, did I see some joker in an
SUV, at a gas station parking lot, running his engine full blast,
running his air conditioner full blast, and keeping the window halfway
open so he could hang a cigarette out of it?
Until we’re willing to get mad at people like that, and do something to prevent that kind of behavior, we don’t stand a chance.
Your children are dieing and this joker is laughing at you.