I purchased my first climate change book in February, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates, and was so excited to read it that I posted a picture of it on Facebook next to the glass of chardonnay I planned to enjoy with it. Almost immediately, I was hit by this comment: “Don’t fall victim to the hype.” This from the center of my high school basketball team – someone I haven’t talked to since I was 16, if, in fact, I ever actually talked to him (which I seriously doubt, I wasn’t exactly on his radar back then).
I didn’t want to engage him on Facebook because I loathe when people get into political arguments on social media. I was excited to read it, but his comment was a bit of a buzz kill. Regardless, as I tried to enjoy my wine and new book, my mind kept returning to that one comment. What exactly did he mean? Did he think climate change was fake news? Did he just think it was blown out of proportion? Did he read the book and not like what Gates had to say?
I usually try to avoid arguing with someone who denies the threat of climate change, because I find it frustrating to talk with those who don’t accept science. It’s hard to believe that we’re not all united on this, given the evidence is so overwhelming and comes from such a wide array of groups and countries. If the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report – produced by more than 800 scientists over six years – isn’t enough to convince them, how would I be able to?
Living in Florida, we’re already seeing the impact today. Did you know parts of Miami flood sometimes when the tide is high? Not because of a hurricane – it happens on perfectly sunny days when a king tide comes in. The Gulf of Mexico waters get so warm now in the summer, it’s leading to awful red tide blooms that kill sea life and making hurricanes grow bigger and move slower (neither of which is good). The coral is bleaching in the Keys, as it is the world over, causing a loss of fish breeding grounds (not to mention eye candy for the snorkelers).
Climate change is something that concerns me and we aren’t doing enough to slow it. As much as I would love to have waterfront property, I don’t want my property that’s three miles inland becoming waterfront because everything between the Gulf and me becomes flooded. But too many can’t accept the evidence that’s staring them in the face, because to change their habits would be inconvenient.