Global Freezing?

 

global freezingEagles aplenty.  Ducks by the thousands: mallards, canvas-backs, buffleheads, and salt-water old squaw.*  Blustering north winds; lake-effect snow; 24-hour snow falls; snow mountains on city streets; brackish ice; frigid temperatures.  Southeast Michigan has not seen this in years, if ever, in living memory. 

 

Is this global warming?  Scientists tell us repeatedly that weather and climate are different realities.  Winter 2014 in North America does not invite denial of climate change.

 

According to International Business Times reporter Roxanne Palmer, February 5, 2014, "much of North America is in the grip of what’s called a “polar vortex” -- a giant swirling mass of cold air in the atmosphere."  However,  "the connection between the vortex and climate change is still uncertain, since rapid Arctic warming is a recent phenomenon . More studies will have to be done to confirm any connection."  A connection is suspected.

 

Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author, writes in Live Science, www.livescience.com, "...I propose a toast to the Arctic, whose instability should serve as a wake-up call to those steeped in denial. When it comes to kicking our "fossil fuel addiction"...let's hope we're not much further from hitting rock bottom. Because when a drunken Arctic leaves Alaska warmer than Georgia in mid-winter, and California as high and dry as it has ever been, we should know we may have a problem."

 

It is time to enhance, not diminish, our efforts, big and small, to reduce global warming. 

 

"Never before in human history have we faced such responsibility

 – and such possibility. 

Death or life – for people and for nature.

The choice is now ours.

 

John McCarthy, SJ; "Our Ecological & Human Footprint"

 

* "Talk Back" The Times Herald.

 

Veronica Blake