06 November 2011

49. Global Climate Change

Dear global climate change,

I believe in you. Really. Kind of a lot. You don't have to keep proving yourself over and over on my account, especially not with freaky disastrous weather, please.

Is Bangkok such a hotbed of climate deniers as to be in any way deserving of the wreckage you've inflicted there recently? It's a lovely city! Not unlike Monterosso, in northern Italy! When did anyone there ever do anything to offend you? Now my former classmate Christine has gone from writing a dreamy story about gastrotouristic entrepreneurship to documenting the damage from storms and mudslides on her new home in the Cinque Terre. Harsh! (And, yes, I am writing you in a public forum in part to circulate Christine's blog, which includes links to ways people can help out her flood-ravaged region, because thinking about it too long gets me all overwhelmed so I don't know what else to do).

I'll grant that it was nice of you to back down Hurricane Irene until she was just a tropical storm by the time she got to New York City on my birthday. For all everybody's whining we still got in a good round of practice on how to be super-prepared for future extreme weather events, so you were practically performing a civil service. On the other hand, did you have to go and shut down large chunks of Vermont? Was that really necessary?

On a more lighthearted note, I'll grant that it's unfortunate how so many people call you "global warming," when that's an oversimplification and "global weirding" is a much better term (more fun, too!) That's still hardly any reason to snow all over the northeast United States in October, when there's still leaves on trees all over the place, so the weight of "wintry mix" (worst precipitation ever!) breaks extra bonus branches which in bring down turn power lines and more. I mean, I hate this rhetorical device as much as anyone, but: think of the children! You pull these shenanigans on the night before Halloween, for monkeys' sake? Just listen to this sob story from a 10-year-old in the suburbs:

When I found out Halloween was canceled, I was so bummed; it was the worst day ever... I went over to my grandparents’ house in New Milford because they were, like, the only people on the planet who had power. But we still didn’t get to go trick-or-treating. There were too many trees and wires all over the place. So I sat there on the couch and did nothing. I said, "I can’t believe it’s Halloween and I’m sitting on a couch!" This is an outrage!

Ok, I mostly couldn't resist quoting that, because it cracked me up, and I needed the laugh after all that other bad news. I hope that little girl believes in you now, but I promise, I know you're real. You kind of scare the crap out of me any time I think about you too hard, and I don't know what else to say except that I know you can't read this but I'm putting these ideas out in the world to share my hope that people will get better at organizing to be resilient to your effects and maybe even prevent future disasters. That's my hope.


Published 6 November 2011, last updated 6 June 2014