Global Warming Upon Us

In the four and a half years I’ve been blogging, I have written several times about the dangers of oncoming global warming as a consequence of the way we live our lives. Our industry and transportation regularly emit greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapor, and synthetic fluorinated gases—that collect in the atmosphere and absorb sunlight and solar radiation bouncing off the earth’s surface. Normally this radiation would escape into space, but the pollutants, which can last for years or even centuries in the atmosphere, trap the heat and cause the planet to get hotter.

The time we’ve been warned about is arriving. The effects of global warming are now starting to damage the earth in the ways predicted. Thanks to the rise in temperatures, states in the western U.S. are experiencing the worst drought in decades. Wildfires are raging in Montana and Utah. In Arizona and Nevada, doctors are warning people that due to the extreme heat they could get third-degree burns from the asphalt. The water levels in the largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead, formed by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, which supplies water for millions of people, are at their lowest since the 1930s.

The good news is that President Biden is pushing measures that will reduce the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. If Congress moves quickly enough, we can stem the tide and avoid the worst consequences of global warning.

The bad news is that Republicans, some of whom still call global warming a hoax, are resisting Biden’s proposals. They don’t seem to realize—or maybe they don’t care—that if global warming continues unchecked, some parts of the world will become uninhabitable. That includes areas in the U.S.’s south and west.

We need to move fast. The time for political bickering is past. Too-late is already upon us.

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