Who Will Survive This Catasrophe?
Where have the four distinctive seasons gone? Here in Washington, DC, they were once as predictable as a crook and liar like Donald Trump getting indicted on one criminal charge after another.
The lines keeps getting blurred between watching autumn leaves change colors to marvel at winter’s gentle falling snow to feeling the relief of cool spring breezes morphing into summer’s sweltering heat. When does one season end and the other begins? We humans crave a heavy dose of predictability and stability in our lives. Too often, we never find those elusive and fragile sources of comfort.
For those of you who are familiar with or have lived in DC know that the city and surrounding areas have experienced a major change in its climate since the 1990s and 2000s. We regularly used to get more than few snowstorms during which the snow totalled 8” or more. No more. This past winter, we received a minor dusting of snow only once and one which wasn’t much more than 1/2” in total. And during the spring months in April and May, it was actually fairly cold. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Air Quality Index (AQI) was consistently bad in June and July due to Canadian wildfires which made life unbearable for more than a few people, particularly the very young and very old.
Nothing But Disaster Lies Ahead
Long gone and faded into the past are the days when one very cold winter I could sit high up by my condominium living room window, look down, and see more than a few people — young and old, male and female — skiing down Connecticut Avenue NW headed to work in Downtown DC. It may have snowed 15”-20” that day and shut down not only city buses but the Metro System’s Red Line. And I remember saying to myself, “These are some dedicated folks. Nothing is going to stop them from going to work and doing their jobs.”
That was then. This is now as a major, tornado-like storm shook DC this past Saturday evening. I myself didn’t have power for almost three days until yesterday afternoon. We probably got lucky for some remain without power as of this evening. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen here in NW DC. Yes, I’m fully aware these are first world problems.
The Georgetowner is a biweekly neighborhood newspaper in DC and one that has been published since 1954. One would hardly expect to read a story like this in it. Well over 200,000 people were directly affected by the storm. The paper’s reach extends not only to the affluent Georgetown neighborhood but other sections of NW DC as well as nearby suburban Maryland and suburban Virginia. A sizable portion of the city’s political and economic elites live in these neighborhoods. Will experiencing severe damage to their properties shake politicians out of their apathy and do something about Climate Change? Perhaps.
The Bottom Line Trumps Everthing Else
Attribution for the above cartoon: mike luckovich @mluckovichajc
Within 20 minutes on Saturday, July 29, around 4 p.m., a severe storm that the weather service had been warning the Washington area about for hours, hit Northwest D.C., including Georgetown. It split huge old trees apart, ripped gigantic branches from their trunks to block entire roads and driveways and in some cases smashing windows, covering cars and damaging homes. Some telephone and power poles were toppled or bent throughout Northwest, but particularly in the Wesley Heights area of D.C.
“The noise of the wind and the rain was so loud, we didn’t even hear the ripping of mature tree branches and their crashing onto the ground,” said Leslie Jewett a longtime home owner on Garland Street. It was a shock she said when the storm passed to find that most all the nearby streets were blocked with downed trees and branches, tipping telephone poles and power lines. Her power went out during the storm. Although within hours there were power crews and firemen everywhere trying to restore the power and clear the streets, by Sunday evening, electric power in her neighborhood still had not been recovered.
It was neither a tornado nor a derecho that hit the area, according to meteorologists, but a series of strong “mini bursts.” They were caused by the combination of extreme heat and humidity, a strong cold front, and a vigorous disturbance high in the atmosphere. Heavy sheets of rain that could not be seen through and winds exceeding at times 80 mph pummeled the District just after temperatures reached a record 97 degrees in the area — the highest so far of the year.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
It’s fairly clear to many people that Climate Change is here to stay. What should we expect next in DC? It isn’t that we are afraid of change; instead, it is fear of the unknown that troubles most of us. Scientific solutions are staring us in the face. Will a country founded on the rational principles of the Enlightenment embrace solutions based on scientific evidence, or continue to be sidetracked by political inaction and corporate propaganda?
And for those who think that “Climate Change” — rather than “Global Warming” — is harmless-sounding term invented by the fossil fuel industry to make calamitious and destructive changes acceptable to the uninformed citizen, think again. For all of its documented sins, the fossil fuel industry had nothing to do with it.
The article embedded in the below NASA Tweet explains the difference between the two terms. That hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from sowning confusion among the uninformed.
The Difference Between Global Warming and Climate Change
Also see comments by Meteor Blades in this recent thread. MB points out that the term “Climate Change” been in use for decades and is, in fact, the more commonly-used term in scientific literature and precedes the term “Global Warming.” Note the CC in IPCC (formed in 1988) which stands for the UN’s Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change.
What Denialists Do
As always, I will post additional editorial cartoons in the comments section and as updates to the diary right here in this section.
Why Editorial Cartoonists Are Essential to a Healthy Democracy
This Looks Really Bad
The GOP Mantra, No Matter What
The Fire Won’t Go Out, Unless…
Hot, Hot, Hot!
Taking a Break
Greed is Not Good
The Future is Here
We Are Outta Here
Even ET Won’t Return to Our Burning Planet
We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Fire Engine
The Mediterranean is On Fire
Sunny Side Up
No Man is An Island
Can We Still Make Chowdah?
Row, Row, Row Your Boat...
Hotter Than Hell
Hell, Where I Come From…
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder
Climate Denialism Has Consequences
Was Brexit Great for Great Britain? Nah!
“Regrets, I Have a Few”
How has Climate Change affected your city, state, or region? For the purposes of the poll, I have divided the United States into four regions — Northeast, South, MidWest, and the West
If you live in another country, and if you’d like, please indicate which one in the comments. Thanks.