Well, here it is April already, and the trees are still mostly bare, except for those pretty but smelly Bradford pears, the grass is still winter brown, and the abundance of inventory in the garden sections of home improvement stores is mostly just wishful thinking. And the heating bills just keep coming.
Where is spring, we keep asking ourselves? And what will the summer, if it ever gets here, bring? Another record-setting scorcher?
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it, as Mark Twain, or his friend, newspaper editor Charles Dudley Warner, depending on which source you check, once said. That could have been the title of the latest climate change report issued this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, here we go again with another left-wing warning that if we don’t stop spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere we’re all gonna die.
And, yes, there are plenty of other reports out there that debunk global warning, most of them funded by the same companies that provide us with the fuel to keep spewing greenhouse gases and keep the pockets of politicians nicely lined so they don’t do anything about it.
But, you know, sometimes Chicken Little is right, and sometimes there really is a wolf at the door.
“So what?” you say. The rising water levels in some places, declining in others, extreme heat and cold affecting the food supply and rising acidity of the oceans won’t happen in our lifetimes, let the grandchildren deal with it, the same ones we keep holding up as poster children as to why government should get off our backs and out of our pockets.
But let’s just assume, just for fun, that the 32-volume, 2,610-page report has some truth in it. After all, a lot of people, probably not all liberals, put in a lot of time and research so we should at least give it a listen.
It predicts declining production due to climate change of many of our food staples, such as corn. Which would you rather give up – or pay higher prices for – corn flakes and cornbread or your big ol’ eight-cylinder pickup truck? I suspect I know the answer to that one around here.
And the report predicts water wars as water levels decline in some places and rise in others, causing more flooding and new flood plains. We tend to take drinking water for granted, but remember all the money and effort that went into providing water to the Tupelo area a few years back when the underground aquifers began to diminish.
The report is definitely apocalyptic in its tone and, even if parts are flawed and questionable, we could still be bringing about our own apocalypse by ignoring it or simply brushing it off as another liberal power grab.
In other words, we can continue to talk about the weather, or we can do something about it.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.