Climate change is upon us! Of that, I have no doubt. From the wildfires in California to Hurricane Lane barreling down on Hawaii to the recently flooded streets of Madison, Wisconsin and parched fields produced in a Texas drought, humans everywhere are feeling the change. Although my examples are confined to the U.S., areas all over the world are experiencing wild weather related to the warming seas and other characteristics of climate change.
Last night we had a thunderstorm. Usually, I love thunderstorms – watching the lightning and counting the seconds until the thunder booms to figure out how far away the storm might be. But, this storm came in the middle of the night. It seemed louder than usual – maybe because we had the windows open since the temperatures had been milder the last few days. More than one of the rumbles of thunder was so close, the house shook! You could hear it moving through the coulee, with wind and rain taking the sound far enough away to make the shaking stop!
I wasn’t really afraid of this storm, yet it awakened my fears for others. As I lay listening to the rain, seeing flashes of lightning, and feeling the vibrations of the thunderous booms, I was actually grateful. I was grateful for my warm bed, my husband sleeping so peacefully beside me (nothing much disturbs his sleep and yes, I am jealous about that), and the safety our house provides in good weather and bad. I felt for those vacationers and residents alike, of the Hawaiian Islands – a place of beauty that we’ve visited three times before. I was thankful, selfishly so, that we were not on vacation in Hawaii at the time of this storm. Earlier in the day I had asked my husband what he thought one would do if stranded on an island during a storm as a vacationer. He said, “hunker down and wait it out, just like everyone else.” I suppose that is true.
I fear that we are going to experience more and more catastrophic weather events in the coming years. It reminds me of the importance of decreasing ones carbon footprint and learning to live sustainably. There is a carbon footprint calculator from Conservation.org that will give you an idea of what kind of emissions your lifestyle is creating. It’s an easy and interesting way to start being informed.
As for the weather, we can only hope for the best. We never know what storm is next or where we’ll be when it hits. All we can do is try to be prepared. Stay safe everyone!