Still think there’s no global warming?

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By Rick Howell

Hopefully, most people are getting back to normal after the June 29 derecho wind event that swept through here from Ohio and went all the way to the Virginia coast and into Washington, D.C.
    If you were lucky, you were relatively unaffected by the power outtages, business closings, and the gold-like lust for bagged ice that plagued most other people. But the lucky were few indeed.
    We know the storms were a product of the extreme heat, a wave that began in late June, which is not the usual time for heat waves.
    As one listened to people describe their plight, a general comment was heard repeatedly: So, for people who say there’s no global warming...what do they think now?
    Indeed. This was surely an event that ought to convert even the most stubborn global warming deniers to a reality that most people can grasp: there’s something very much wrong with the weather these days.
    The wind event here was just one part of the picture nationwide. Other areas of the country are experiencing forest fires, droughts, and their own heat waves. These kinds of extremes simply did not exist, say, 30 years ago.
    Generally, the scientific community sees it for what it must be: continuing evidence that the planet is heating up, with a man-made contribution the obvious culprit.
    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that  more than 40,000 hot temperature records have been set so far this year in the United States (The Guardian, July 4th). June is expected to be the hottest month of the year on record.
    It seems that each of every recent year is the hottest on record, only to be replaced as such by the year that follows. Only a fool (or an extreme right-winger..same thing?) would deny what we all can see.
Yes, the weather has changed, which is a reflection of what we as a species have done to the planet we inhabit. The rise in global temperatures, storms, and water levels is consistent with the steady increase in humankind’s industrial and chemical output.
    There are those on the right who will say, “Well, God is in control, so we musn’t worry about it,” or, more specifically, “These are only the signs of the ‘end times,’ and since Jesus will return soon, we musn’t be concerned.’”
    But that is a direct rejection of the divine responsibility that we all have to protect the orb upon which we reside. Native Americans understood this; they saw God in the rivers, air, trees, and land. Because they didn’t see  Earth as an opportunity to make money, our ancestors called them “savages” and wiped them out.
Today, we are reaping the results of those who have put profits ahead of the need to protect our dwelling place. If you believe, as most of us do, that God created our beloved Earth, surely he expects us to take care of it, and not just use it as something to be exploited for money until it’s dead.
    You think the aftermath of June 29 was bad? It was; but you’d better wake up and prepare for the future. Global warming is real, and the worst consequences are yet to come.
    We all have two choices: We can listen to the conservative naysayers – who are afraid a new government program might be started – or we can unite as a planet and do something to reverse the way we’ve treated Mother Earth.
    Wondering what the Bible says? I’ll be glad to tell you: You reap what you sow. That’s a consistent theme throughout Scripture.
    You might not hear it on the Rush Limbaugh show. But it’s the truth.

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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com.