I talk a lot about being from Arizona because it’s one of those places that is really distinctive. One of the things that makes it so distinct is that it is a desert, and it gets very hot in the summer.
However, it’s hotter than it used to be.
When I was a kid, we thought 110 was a really serious heat wave and we weren’t allowed to play outside. There was constant advisories and we were always told to stay indoors, and to drink water constantly even when we didn’t feel thirsty.
However, ever year since I was a kid, the summers have gotten hotter. And, it has been hotter longer. We hit temperatures over 100 for several days in the summer, but not like now. Not from May to September with no let up at all. Not with days in the 120’s thrown in.
On the one hand, we like to make jokes about it. We drive with potholders and we tell each other that “It’s a dry heat” even when humidity shoots up after the summer monsoons. We like to laugh about how it’s like opening on oven to check on a batch of cookies, except that there are no cookies and there is no escape.
And you know, I think it’s pretty normal to joke about things that are horrible and hard to live with. I think it’s a natural human reaction to an intolerable situation. We count the days since it has rained and marvel that it gets so high.
“80 days without rain,” the newspaper will read. Then 100 days without rain. Then 120 days without rain. And we laugh about how when it finally does rain, we’re all just going to stop what we’re doing and watch (and we do.)
It’s all well and good to joke about it. It helps us get by. But the fact is, it’s still getting hotter and staying that way longer. And just like the ancient glaciers melting in the north, this is a serious problem.
Outside of the US people take that shit seriously. I have 5 different kinds of trash bags in my home because I have to recycle everything. Not because I care. It’s just the law. People take public transportation, are conscious of what they consume, and recycle everything they can.
In my classes, I teach about research into alternative energy sources and ways to conserve resources. The kids take it seriously. People here take it seriously. The whole world is actually taking this really seriously, except in the US.
To some extent, you are allowed to say that it is the corporations that pay to have scientists in the US lie and say that Climate Change isn’t happening. It’s true that there is an active campaign funded by US corporations to sell the fiction that Climate Change is not happening. And it is a very well-funded pile of bullshit.
However, at some point you have to grown up.
Look, you know in your heart that those people are being paid to lie to you. You know Climate Change is real. If you live in Arizona, there can be no doubt of it because you can remember that it used to get below 100 degrees at night even in July. It did! You were there! You experienced it!
And you can’t keep pretending that there is nothing we can do or that it is some natural occurrence that the Earth is just doing. You know those are lies! Admit it. Please. Because I know you know what the entire rest of the world has already accepted: Man-made Climate Change is real, and it’s a danger to our species and all the species on Earth.
Recycle, consume less, re-use things when you can, don’t buy new cars all the time, and start taking this seriously. This is one of those issues that comes up around tables at bars where I, as the American, am ridiculed for the stupidity of my country. And I accept it when it happens, because I know that they are right.
So I beg you America:
Start taking man-made Climate Change seriously!