Putting Weather in Perspective

When will weather reports start telling us what really is happening? How many excessive wildfires will it take? How many Greek named hurricanes will it take? How many droughts will it take? Weather reports need to make it clear that the weather we are experiencing is not merely “unusual” or “first-time ever” or “extreme heat” or “rare melting” or “record setting.” This is the climate crisis upon us and causing deaths, health problems and costs.

We need to act now. It is hard to think about more than one crisis at a time, but we are faced with at least two right now. The climate crisis is generating crises in economics, health and housing. We know cumulatively how many people have caught COVID-19 and how have many died from the virus.

We should have a cumulative number of homes lost and the cumulative number of displaced people from the climate crisis. We should have a cumulative number of lives lost and hospitalizations (e.g. smoke inhalation) from the climate crisis. Cumulative numbers on the costs from each climate crisis event are needed because isolated reports do not provide perspective.TOP ARTICLES

Acknowledgment of these patterns would generate support for action and move bipartisan bills like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) up on the House and Senate agendas.

John Swisher, State College

This article originally appeared in the Centre Daily Times.

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