A needlessly contentious topic, global warming is like gravity: it doesn't matter whether or not you believe in it. It's still real. The evidence is overwhelming and irrefutable—and humans are to blame. I'm personally witnessing some of its effects.
Shortly after purchasing the property in 2013, I began to notice some of the trees were dying. Five years later, I've seen many more hardwoods suffering the same fate, and I'd attempted to find out why, consulting with local tree experts and doing extensive research online. Was it insects? Disease? Bad vibes from me?
Turns out it's global warming. The hardwoods—oak, maple, etcetera—are more sensitive to temperature changes than the softwoods, like beech; they prefer a cooler climate. So, they're "migrating" north to more suitable environs. All of the trees shown above were alive when I moved here; they are but a few of the dozens I'm currently losing.
As if that wasn't bad enough, scientists are now reporting significant global declines in insect populations, which is having a devastating impact on bird species, crop pollination, and the global biosphere as a whole, with bees, ants and beetles disappearing eight time faster than mammals, birds and reptiles. Perhaps not surprisingly, I've noticed significantly fewer insects, birds and bats over the years since I've moved here; the science reports explain and confirm my own observations; indeed, all of the signs point to a sixth mass extinction event.
Scientists are now warning that we're only about two or three decades away from the "tipping point," that time when warming will become an uncontrollable, runaway trend. But avoiding that deadline assumes we halt all greenhouse gas emissions immediately, and the chance of that happening is well and truly zero. But the biggest threat isn't from deniers, petroleum producers or politicians; it's from apathy: the vast majority of people simply could not care less about global warming. How many people even know insect populations are crashing—let alone how it will directly and gravely affect their lives?
I could easily delve into the topic much more deeply, with countless technical references and such, since I've researched the subject quite intensely over the last few years, and the data align disturbingly with what I'm seeing in real life. But what's the point? Due to apathy, misinformation and a dearth of education, we're doomed no matter what anyone says or does. I'm just thankful I won't be around to see the worst of it.
Copyright © 2017-2019 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved.