Solving Climate Change – Together
How does climate change affect your daily life?
Here in Vermont, we’re experiencing an epic mud season. A couple weeks ago, two sisters had to ride the family’s mules to school because no cars could pass on their dirt road!
We always get some mud during this transition time between winter and spring, but this year it’s worse. And the reason likely has to do with climate change.
We had a pretty cold winter, which meant the ground froze. But we didn’t get a whole lot of snow, and snow acts as an insulator, keeping the ground from freezing too deeply. Plenty of frozen nights plus very few snowstorms meant a very deep layer of frost. And when the air warmed up and the frost melted, it turned into a very deep layer of mud.
This is just one example of how climate change affects our daily lives. In other areas of the world, the risk of fire is much greater than it used to be because the region has experienced an extended drought. This means a smaller amount of water fell than usual, so the ground and ground cover are very dry. Any spark, whether from lightning or a cigarette or a campfire not properly extinguished, can turn into a raging wildfire.
And how about moving coast lines? Coastal communities around the world are forced to make the decision to leave their homes because if they don’t, it’s possible they will lose everything when their house is swallowed up by a rising tide.
For decades, climate change was a condition that would happen in the future, and the work we did (or didn’t do) to avoid climate change didn’t have an observable impact. Now, though, we’re seeing the impact of climate change in a very real way. And we know it will get worse if we don’t work harder to alter the path we’re on. Renewable energies, carbon capture technology, more efficient methods of transportation—all of these are essential if we are to avoid the worst damage.
It can feel like climate change is a huge, unsolvable problem. But a lot of problems have felt this way. And what we’ve learned is that even problems that feel unsolvable—eradicating disease, sending a robot to Mars, ending world wars—do have solutions. Working together, following the science, and reminding each other of why we do the work are critical aspects of solving big problems.
And it starts with kids!