Time is running out in order to slow and reverse the warming of the earth. The catastrophic consequences associated with climate change are rapidly becoming more evident. It’s not too late but the world must act soon in order to prevent the worst of these environmental disasters. Scientists predict the globe will reach a tipping point where the warming could become irreversible. The consequences of passing that tipping point would dramatically alter life as we know it.
These dire warnings to act are coming from a wide variety of sources. The Pentagon warns that climate change is a primary national security threat. The scientific community points to the visible evidence of rising sea levels, droughts, wildfires and hotter worldwide temperatures. The faith community reminds their followers of the scriptural commitment to be stewards of the earth.
2016 was the warmest year on record and are indicative of a long-term warming trend. Worldwide carbon dioxide levels have surpassed 400 parts per million for the first time in hundreds of thousands of years. Global sea levels have risen 8 inches in the last century. The thickness and extent of Arctic sea ice has been shrinking rapidly over the past few decades. Glaciers are melting and retreating throughout the world. These scientific observable facts aren’t theoretical, they’re real and they demand immediate action.
This week, Iowa’s climate warrior, Senator Rob Hogg urged fellow Iowans to act this weekend on the climate challenge.
“Now we all have the opportunity to speak up for the climate policies and climate action we so urgently need this Saturday, April 29, as part of the Peoples Climate March, or one of the many ‘sister marches’ across the country or around the world.”
“The Peoples Climate March will be in Washington, D.C., with “line up” scheduled for 11:00 a.m. For more details, visit: https://peoplesclimate.org/ “
“Sister Marches will be held across the country and around the world. After you march, please contact your U.S. Representative and Senators to urge them to support climate policies and climate action.”
Des Moines, State Capitol, at 1:00 p.m.
Cedar Rapids, Greene Square Park, at 4:30 p.m.
Maquoketa, Downtown Green Space, at 9:30 a.m.
Quad Cities, Modern Woodmen Park, at noon
Iowa City, Pedestrian Mall, at 1:30 p.m.
The Pentagon makes clear in the following statement that action is required to protect America’s national security. “The Department of Defense’s primary responsibility is to protect national security interests around the world…it is in this context, the department must consider the effects of climate change — such as sea level rise, shifting climate zones and more frequent and intense severe weather events — and how these effects could impact national security.” Secretary of Defense James Mattis agrees, “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today,”
The Union of Concerned Scientists agree that, “global warming is already having significant and harmful effects on our communities, our health, and our climate. Sea level rise is accelerating. The number of large wildfires is growing. Dangerous heat waves are becoming more common. Extreme storm events are increasing in many areas. More severe droughts are occurring in others. We must take immediate action to address global warming or these consequences will continue to intensify, grow ever more costly, and increasingly affect the entire planet—including you, your community, and your family. The good news is that we have the practical solutions at hand to dramatically reduce our carbon emissions, slow the pace of global warming, and pass on a healthier, safer world to future generations.”
Pope Francis writing in the Catholic Climate Covenant asserts, “Never have we so hurt and mistreated our common home as we have in the last two hundred years…reducing greenhouse gases requires honesty, courage and responsibility.”
The consensus among the science community is that we must disarm the climate time bomb and the clock is running down. The Trump administration is denying that the climate bomb exists. We must convince them that it’s real and we have the knowledge and will power to defuse it.
by Rick Smith