Today is a great day to put on your long johns, flannel jeans, wool shirt, fleece, parka, wool socks, boots, balaclava, stocking hat, gloves, and scarf, and walk outside, spread your arms, and say, “Welcome, Polar Vortex!” And once you have welcomed the vortex, it’s a great day to go right back inside because it is cold. No guilt for watching TV today!
Actually, this cold is no laughing matter. In my hometown of Iowa City, a student was found dead today. It was -51 degrees. That’s 81 degrees below freezing. What he was doing out in that cold, I have no idea. Even as he was dying of cold, Australia has endured its hottest month on record, with temperatures as high as 121 degrees frying the pavement. An entire herd of wild horses died from heat there.
I wonder if we’re scared enough. The Guardian has a good article showing the status of climate science and the polar vortex here: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/30/polar-vortex-2019-usa-what-is-it-temperatures-cold-weather-climate-change-explained. In short, it’s unclear if climate change caused the polar vortex, but it probably played a role. In any event, despite how cold it is, 2018 was the fourth-hottest year on record, right behind 2015, 2016, and 2017, and 2019 is expected to be the hottest year ever recorded. Some scientists even say that this vortex would have been even colder if weren’t for global warming. Check this article out to see: www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-47078054.
Fires, floods, famine, and yes, ice. That’s where we’re going. Scientists believe we have to get our energy house in order in the next twelve years in order to stave off the worst of climate change. That’s not long.
The good news is that New York State might be a leader in changing our energy source. On February 5th, you can join members of OSA and New Yorkers of every kind as we go to Albany with organizations including New York Renews to ask our elected representatives to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act. This is an important first step in changing our future from life on an inhabitable planet to life on a habitable one. If you want to join us, e-mail us.
Hope to see you soon,