More Responses

Three more responses to the questions:

What changes do you expect from climate change by 2020, 2050, and 2100?

Trish comments.

Someone else, age unknown, sent this in:

I think global warming will look much like the last eighteen months. Spring floods in New England and elsewhere will become the norm. I can see them moving further inland each year. The seasonal flooding everywhere will be worse not only because of global warming but also because of urbanization of watersheds. I am not sure what the tropical storm season is going to do. If the hurricanes land in third world countries the majority of the time then I think that Americans–in general–will continue to ignore the storms’ severity. Generally I think weather will become much less stable. For some time the yearly averages will look about the same but the day to day fluctuations will be greater.

Another sent this in, not saying what he expects to happen, but that the whole project appears hopeless:

The only problem is that most people are more concerned about the cost of fuel for their automobiles than something that they think they cannot do anything about. They simply do not recognize climate change as an urgent and moral issue.

That’s sad to say but I fear it is true. Most of us don’t even do the simple little things we can do such as buying the compact fluorescent light bulbs. And that just makes sense even on one’s own budget, for we are told that we can save up to $275 per year just by changing all of the light bulbs in your home to the energy efficient fluorescent bulbs.

He’s right. In part because only those of us who live in the far north, or on Pacific islands expected to be submerged in a matter of decades, have really internalized the kinds of changes we expect to see. In large numbers.

Consider how pictures of gunked up lungs helped shift people who already knew that smoking was dangerous. Reminders, pictures, all will help.

One of our tasks is to learn to say what changes we expect to see in our lifetime, or in the lifetime of our children. We can also learn to describe what changes we will have made inevitable in our lifetime. If coal power plants are built without geological storage (storing the carbon in oil wells or the seams of coal mines) in the next 10 years, of if fuel economy is not doubled, or any number of other changes are not made, what do you expect will be inevitable? What will we have left to the world to deal with this half-century, this century, and later? (To repeat: huge numbers of coal power plants are expected in India and China in the next few years, and these will be built without geological storage unless the West finances the cleaner but more expensive coal gasification plants. In the US, people in industry believe that the more expensive plants will be required here, but see no leadership at the national level.)

And to our Friend expressing frustration, it is possible to say to others, “You will save yourself money and help to protect the climate if you replace all of your frequently used light bulbs with fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs.” In at least one Friends Meeting, compact fluorescent bulbs are given away to members and attenders. There’s a rule, Chinese we are told, that people don’t see the horse until the third time they see it. So we all need to help others see the climate change problems horse, and the climate change partial solutions horse.

Tackling climate change is the responsibility of each and every one of us. We need to work individually and corporately.

Again, part of our work is to expand the picture of what will happen or what may happen beyond the temperature rising. We need a way to understand the changes ourselves, and a way to help others understand. I very much appreciate all who have sent in your picture, your ideas!

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