Opinion: Liar, liar, grass on fire

Last year, I had an opportunity to drive across the entire country. It was a wonderful trip. It was also eye-opening in a scary way.
I was in Oklahoma. The grass is usually a cool hue of sea foam, the dirt iron red underneath. Last year, everything was dry, dead, and on fire. The land was on fire for miles.
My uncle was talking about how expensive it was to lower his water well. They dropped it 50 feet, and it looked like it could need another 50-foot drop if the weather didn’t break and drop some rain. Have you ever seen dry lightning?
Here in Iowa, the change hasn’t been so drastic. That is, until last year, when March brought 80 degree weather and it stayed that way until November. The drought has yet to break. To say the situation is drastic would be an understatement of the most grievous variety.
Weather patterns are more unpredictable and stronger than usual. They don’t compare to weather patterns of the past in any conceivable way. I have a friend who stays awake at night worrying if you even mention weather. His wife shushes us.
Hurricane Sandy devastated the entire eastern seaboard. Thousands of people are still homeless, and meteorologists say storms like Sandy, ‘super storms,’ will be occurring more often and with as much and more ferocity.
Glacier National Park will soon be ‘Just National Park’ because ice all over the world is melting at terrifying rates. Satellite information indicates the ice sheet of Greenland is melting almost 60 cubic miles per year.
Other irreplaceable entities are receding too, like plant, fish and wildlife populations directly related to temperature. Scientists predict more than 1,000 species of plant and animal will be destined for extinction by the year 2050 because their habitat will have changed so much there will be no way to survive.
Yes, the world has gone through changes before and adapted. That excuse doesn’t work. The changes then occurred at a slow pace that took thousands of years. The change in the 20 years I can personally remember is not gradual, and no species is so adaptable.
Human impact over the last two hundred years is starting to show. We may not have two hundred years to clean up the mess. The clearest message: We certainly don’t have time to continue standing around arguing about it.

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