A cloudy, grumpy morning, way to warm following a record smashing weekend of heat. I’m told the day began with a marvelous sunrise.
Here and there trees are in full color but the dominant landscape now is mostly bare branches with a few fluttering leaves hanging on. The oaks, holding tight to their leaves, are taking their usual leisurely stroll towards winter which is great for the squirrels who need nesting material.
Over the weekend everyone was out in the 70F+ temperature; many people in tee shirts.Mind you we are speaking of the first week of November. It wasn’t that temperatures were above normal; they broke temperature records by as much as 15 degrees F! The warmth was both delicious and terrifying and I strongly suspect that for many people under thirty-five it was mostly the former.
To put this in perspective: a two degree deviation from a record is a LOT and three degrees used to be considered historic! Not surprisingly, the news media have been lackadaisical in their reporting of this monumental event, mostly focusing on “isn’t this an interesting aspect of climate change, one we can certainly enjoy”.
While it is a fact that the Northeast is warming much faster than most of the continental U.S., this extreme warming should be terrifying everyone. Instead, the great majority of folks seemingly just perceive it as a regional problem, if they pay attention at all. Of course, the misinformation machines are going full tilt as we hover on the edge of tomorrow’s mid-term elections and climate change (and a host of other immediate environmental and social problems), already receiving scant notice, is buried under mounds of garbage.
The issues on voters’ minds (young people seem to be staying away from the polls) are crime, the economy, immigration, and women’s and minority rights, all important but none existing in a vacuum. In fact, they all impact, and are impacted by, climate change, resource scarcity, and species decline. Yet neither party seems even remotely interested in speaking to this, maybe because the complexity defies presentation in sound bites, or maybe because politicians believe there is money to be made from catastrophe. No wonder young people are staying away from the polls!
This morning the President of the United Nations warned we are rapidly descending into a climate “hellscape.” We always have the collective choice to create Heaven on Earth or a Hellscape. Sadly, we appear to be making a host of decisions that lead inexorably towards the latter.