I don’t mean your marching sign (although links for protest signs are included below). I mean the signs you’ve noticed in everyday life telling you climate change is real, validating what scientists report. For millennia, humans have used observations of nature to judge timing of important events. Farmers planted potatoes when alder tree leaves were the size of mouse ears. Other organisms dance to nature’s choreography or they don’t survive. Monarch butterflies arrive when their milkweed larval host plant has grown to provide enough leaves suitable for egg laying and for larvae to eat after the eggs hatch. Birds migrate to their summer breeding grounds timed to arrive when food and habitat are just right. Apple trees flower when the proper amount of cold temperatures break bud dormancy and warmer weather triggers blooming.
Now, nature’s signals are mixed up. Plants, animals, weather, and day length are not always dancing together.
Humans have used science to allow us to be out of synch with nature. We heat and cool our homes, transport food from warm to snow-covered regions, travel in vehicles that protect us from rain. We’ve straightened out rivers and built levees hoping to contain them in channels. Winter rains are stored in reservoirs behind dams then distributed during summer. And despite all this talent for altering nature to serve our needs, human self-assurance exceeds our actual control. We don’t see all the consequences of actions and we don’t (can’t) look far enough into the future.
Even though humans are more capable of modifying our environments than other organisms, we all have one thing in common — we share earth. And now earth is dealing with the result of our excessive human self-assurance: anthropogenic global warming — climate change.
The global result of our hubris is difficult for people to see directly although we should be clued in by repeated reports of hottest month ever, especially when that record also was set in our neighborhoods. What observable events nail the reality for you? My home in northern California has seen the most rainfall this winter ever recorded . . . and it’s still raining. This follows several years of state-wide catastrophic drought and mandatory water use restrictions. People in other areas are experiencing out-of-season tornadoes, warmer winters, earlier springs, wildfires in wet season, monsoon seasons that don’t occur. Even people normally oblivious to nature’s patterns find something odd. In 2015 my neighbor, who usually talks about his guns and his god, admitted, “You know I don’t believe that climate nonsense, but I’ve not needed my raincoat for years. This isn’t right.”
No, it isn’t right, but biologists, physicists, oceanographers, and other scientists have hesitated to point at a particular event and say “this is due to climate change.” Was Hurricane Katrina due to climate change? The wildfires this winter in the Plains States and those right now in Guatemala’s Peten jungle? The floods in Peru? My record-setting rainfall? Scientists caveat their assertions because the world is complicated and no one knows that better than the people who study it scientifically. But more and more scientists are identifying events as unmistakably the consequences of climate change, from disappearing glaciers and melting ice in the Arctic to coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Daily Kos SciCli Blogathon reports on some of these unmistakeable events. Writers will explore what science says about climate change and how this manifests in the world and in our hearts. The Blogathon covers facts and feelings, pooties (cats) and activists. Perhaps even activist pooties!
DarkSyde begins the Blogathon at 2:30pm Pacific time Saturday April 22nd with a report on climate change poster child Greenland, followed by Meteor Blades at 5:30pm. Over the next six days, twelve other Daily Kos members will share their reasons for supporting science and the realities of climate change.
The Blogathon begins with the March for Science (April 22nd) and ends the day before the People’s Climate March (April 29th). Below is more information on these events and, as promised, at the end are links to posters and social media material you can use to promote the Marches and the SciCli Blogathon. More information is in boatsie’s SciCli Blogathon Preview: Three Climate Scientists on “Why We March.”
SciCli Blogathon Schedule
April 22-28, 2017
(all times are Pacific)
2:30 pm: DarkSyde
5:00 pm: Meteor Blades
2:30 pm: citisven
5:00 pm: John Crapper
2:30 pm: Pakalolo
5:00 pm: 2thanks
1:45 pm: samanthab
5:00 pm: Besame
2:30 pm: Dartagnan
5:00 pm: peregrine kate
2:30 pm: Bill McKibben
5:00 pm: WarrenS
2:30 pm: Tamar
5:00 pm: annieli