The Weird & the Odd

The Climate – Truly Weird and Odd

This is my first post for what I am calling “The Weird & the Odd.” With these posts, I hope to showcase the truly odd and weird things that are happening because of our impact on the environment. And what better topic to start with than the climate.

We’ll start with the weird. In the northeast US we had winters with unending blizzards and record breaking cold followed by a spring with torrential, record-breaking rains and flooding, with days of summer warmth followed by days that felt more like late fall. And this was over just few months. The climate seems to have begun getting weird on a regular basis around 2012, maybe even 201o.

None of this is unexpected. As the planet warms, the climate changes, leading to not only shifts (e.g., wet to dry) but greater extremes. So extra cold stretches during winters are a signal of climate change just as much as unusually warm stretches. The term that best describes this is “climate weirding,” which was coined by Hunter Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and popularized by Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times.

Two good articles from Friedman:

We Are the People We Have Been Waiting For.

Global Weirding is Here

All of this has been well documented in the new National Climate Assessment report that the US government released yesterday. The report not only adds to the (unfortunately) growing body of indisputable and unequivocal body of evidence of global weirding, it also shows that the weirding is more weird and happening more quickly than predicted.

So, now for the odd.

First, you need to see this video of a report that the local news did on the report. Focus not on me (NB: they spelled my name wrong – it starts with a “C” not an “S”) but on the climate-deniers.

What is odd is the continual denial of many that climate change is real and is caused by us. The two deniers, I think, illustrate why this is so: lack of climate-weirding literacy in the US. The first, who said that because we only have 120 years of weather records, there is not enough evidence to say that it is real clearly does not know or understand how extensive are the climate records (thousands of years), or the difference between climate and weather. The second person acknowledges that the climate is changing and that some of it might be cause by us but climate is always changing so we don’t need to be “paranoid” about it. Again, clearly a lack of understanding that, yes, the climate is in a natural warming trend BUT we are causing in to warm more rapidly and at a greater amount.

The facts that are presented following these clips puts some numbers to all of this.

So how do we do a better job at educating the public on climate weirding? Or perhaps it’s not a lack of education or information, but an unwillingness by many to accept the facts because they don’t trust or like the messengers, or it would be too inconvenient to make the necessary life-changes, or that they think it would cost them money, or…..

What do you think is the issue and what can and should be done to convince people that this is real and that if we don’t do something quickly, the pain and cost will just increase as the climate gets weirder.