Letter to the editor: Citizens need to plan for a different climateMy elderly father-in-law depends on an electric oxygen pump to help him breathe. My 5-year-old son goes a bit nuts if he can’t get outside and ride his bike in the sun.
My elderly father-in-law depends on an electric oxygen pump to help him breathe. My 5-year-old son goes a bit nuts if he can’t get outside and ride his bike in the sun.
I grow or buy as much local food as possible. All of these events are all important parts of life that can be affected by extreme weather events and the power outages, floods and droughts that come with those extremes.
We’re all wondering about the crazy weather lately. Growing scientific evidence shows that the earth’s climate seems to be changing, fast. Rising temperatures can have all sorts of effects; this odd spring and summer might even be influenced by the loss of sea ice farther north. Extreme weather events such as the “100 year floods” will likely happen more often. This can have big consequences for everyone, from the elderly who depend on oxygen, to the moms who are cooped up with grumpy kids, to the local farmers eking out a living growing tomatoes and lettuce.
Governments and organizations are beginning to work on the problem, and we can all reduce our own carbon footprint by conserving energy. Perhaps that will help; perhaps it won’t. Maybe the Earth’s climate is changing due to human actions, or maybe it’s a natural variation. No one really knows. The fact remains that things are changing. It may be too late to prevent further changes, so now is the time to start thinking about how to adapt to those changes. Will we grow more food indoors or adapt what we grow? Will someone open a nice indoor playground for kids? And will local utilities and governments consider climate-change adaptation in their plans and policies, for everything from the power grid to farm policies to storm sewers?
For the protection of our families, it’s time that we as citizens, parents and children begin planning for a different climate future, and ask that our national and local leaders do the same. On July 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Duluth Heights Community Center, the St. Louis River Alliance and the W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Isaac Walton League will host a community discussion about climate adaptation actions to help protect for Duluth’s waterways. It’s free and open to the public.