It was a lovely day today in Bethesda, Maryland. The mercury topped 70. Again. We had several such days in February. January was colder, but rarely was it legitimately cold. Today is March 9th, and we still haven’t had a single snow storm in a full year. Yes, we’ve had some dustings, but I don’t believe we’ve topped an inch of snow all “winter.”
Today, as I drove to a doctor’s appointment, I was greeted with a line of trees sporting white blossoms. Here we are in early-March, and already it’s cherry blossom season. This is not the Washington, D.C. I’ve known for the past 5 ½ decades. It feels more like North Carolina or Georgia. Who knew the South would win the Civil War after all.
Perhaps I shouldn’t get so worked up just because the weather in a single city during a single winter has been worthy of the Twilight Zone. So let’s look at some more global information, such as the fact that these past three years have been the three hottest years on record, with each year setting a new planetary record. Coasts are eroding. Ice is breaking. The ocean is getting acidic. Coral is dying – and one aquatic species after another is sure to follow. Storms have been getting deadlier too. But if all of this isn’t scary enough, just consider that the effects on agriculture over time are likely to devastate the living conditions of our own species, especially in poorer parts of the earth, where people may die by the millions.
So be afraid, be very ... Oh wait. I didn’t get to the craziest part of this entire equation. The real kicker is that nobody on TV or even in the newspapers is paying much attention to any of this. The government doesn’t care – meaning neither party. And even the media appears to be taking a bit of comfort in the nice weather. On the radio this afternoon, I heard a reporter remark that the climate this “winter” has been good to our economy. With less cold and icy weather, construction companies have started their work earlier in the season. More jobs. More warmth. More fun. “An Inconvenient Truth” has morphed into “Endless Summer.”
It’s all good, right?
Well, if you believe that, I’m guessing you’re too dumb to be an Empathic Rationalist reader. As you probably understand, just because we’ve only been playing in 70 degree (February) weather doesn’t mean we’re not playing with fire. We’re completely blowing off our obligations to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, not to mention our duties to the world’s other species. This is, in fact, the epitome of recklessness, and it’s taking place on the grandest possible scale. We need to act, and we need to act now.
Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day, and it will be celebrated as such around the world. In Washington, D.C. on the National Mall, environmentalists from all over the nation will be joining together in an event billed as the “March for Science.” It could be the largest outpouring of support for the environment in American history, leading to the creation of a truly sustaining movement against science-denial and in favor of honoring Mother Earth. Or, it could be just another march – full of sound and fury but signifying nothing of consequence.
Your decision to march – and the decision of others like you – will make all the difference. That’s because the marchers will surely become more inspired to act and more knowledgeable about how to act, but only if the march is as big as it has the potential to be. So please, if you too are an American, whether you live in Bethesda, Boston, Berkeley or Boise, come to DC this April 22nd and help get this movement started before it’s too late.
We don’t have to sit on the sidelines – not on this issue. There’s a way for all of us to get involved and a need for all of us to get involved. See you in April.