Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 22, 2014

BRADBERRY: Enough pontificating, climate change is REAL!

Niagara Gazette — A good friend and I had a brief, but passionate and at times, rather heated conversation recently about the veracity of the climate change deniers claims that the whole issue is nothing more than a hoax.

Before long, our competing diatribes turned to economics, then, as usual, to politics. By the end of the discussion, after we had thoroughly vented our mutual frustration with the apparent lack of action on the matter, and exhausted with nothing more to say, we wished each other well, and went on about our business as if our conversation had never happened.

While we generally agree that something is definitely happening to the climate, we did not settle the most perplexing part of the controversy; why isn’t anyone doing anything besides talking about it?

What are we waiting for, the next Typhoon Haiyan or Hurricane Sandy, the next wild tornado outbreak to sweep across the plains, the next California drought, the next polar vortex event to jam up the New York Power Authority’s water intakes on the Niagara River threatening to deprive HUGE chunks of the Northeast of electricity , the next “once every one-hundred year” rainstorm to overwhelm the entire wastewater treatment system here?

It reminds me of that old saying attributed to Mark Twain, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Like any problem, the first step toward solution is acknowledgement that one exists in the first place. Denying that it’s there won’t fix it, but neither will talking it to death resolve anything; at some point, before it’s too late, you actually have to do something.

Imagine that you and a few others are standing on the railroad tracks peering at a dim light in the distance. It could be nothing important, but eventually it starts to look like it might be moving toward you, getting closer quickly. As it approaches, the ground rumbles, and what was a dim light in the distance a moment ago, is now a blinding flash as the once faint sound becomes a deafening roar and suddenly its clear; it’s a huge locomotive and its speeding directly toward you.

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