Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Media not connecting the dots on local extreme weather and Climate Change


Until mainstream media begins reporting on extreme weather events as at least possibly related to Climate Change, the public will have no clue that Climate Change might be happening. Without daily reminders that the prediction of Climate Change are actually occurring, the issue of Climate Change seems merely the ravings of an extreme political party bent on changing the world order. But there are enough respected studies, enough climate scientists who agree, and enough of a worldwide concern to place many of the wildfires, droughts, floods, and in our case an abnormally wet spring (U.S. Had Most Extreme Spring on Record for Precipitation | ThinkProgress) to suggest that we are seeing the effects of human-caused Climate Change. Not only that, we should reasonably expect that our summers will be hotter and like all Climate Change predictions, we must prepare for hotter weather:

Hot Temperatures Can Create Serious Health Risks State Health Department Urges Precautions During Extremely Hot Weather to Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses ALBANY, N.Y. (June 9, 2011) - New York State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., cautioned New Yorkers about serious health effects that can arise due to intense heat and humidity, and advised people to take steps to protect themselves during the extreme temperatures being experienced in many areas of the state. "High temperatures and humidity over extended periods of time can cause serious health problems," Commissioner Shah said. "We strongly urge people to be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and take some common sense measures to stay cool and healthy during extreme temperatures." (June 9, 2011) New York State Department of Health

But if the media continues to drag their feet on even suggesting in their local news about energy, weather, invasive species, and the increase in diseases like Lyme and West Nile Virus are related to Climate Change; we will end up with a public voting for a party who does not believe in Climate Change at all. That would be tragic as our public officials are charged with preparing our area to adapt to the changes already coming down the pipe because of the Climate Change choices we have not made in the past. Here’s an article that suggests our media should connect those dots:

Science connects climate change and wildfires. Why won’t the media? | Grist One of the least controversial impacts of the climate crisis is more frequent, severe, and damaging wildfires in America's West. Why won't reporters say so? It's been a scary spring for wildfires in places like Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Global warming caused by human-made carbon pollution is fueling perfect conditions, with longer fire seasons, drier conditions, and more lightning strikes. (June 14, 2011) Grist | Environmental News, Commentary, Advice

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