By the start of the workweek, forecasters were warning of dangerously high temperatures for the start of Monday’s Boston Marathon. Those concerns were justified as runners suffered through temps in the 80s; many threw in the towel rather than risk serious heat-related injury.
The month began with powerful tornadoes sweeping through Texas, rolling through Dallas and Fort Worth, a region that last summer was burned to a crisp by a severe drought.
It seems almost daily that we see video of dramatic weather taking a toll on people, places and things.
Climate scientists are quick to warn against directly linking this type of weather to climate change. However, the models suggest that climate change is capable of pushing the type of extremes we’ve been witnessing. A warming planet is likely to intensify weather patterns, not merely making it hotter but also wetter, drier, windier and more unpredictable across various parts of the planet. Coping will mean more than adjusting the air-conditioner’s thermostat. Emergency preparedness must be ramped up — not only in the so-called tornado alley, flood-prone areas or coastal properties accustomed to hurricanes — but everywhere.
An entire industry has sprung up around the idea of denying the scientific consensus of causes of climate change. It is funded by industries dependant on fossil fuels. The mission is to deflect attention from what scientists believe is a human component in climate change. As public opinion polls reflect a distrust of the science, anti-warming industry propagandists can claim victory.
Albeit a hollow win, one that shamefully stands with history’s other deniers of the scientific process.