Current Events – Climate Change

A new alarming report on climate change is expected to be released this week by the Federal government, the latest in a series of influential studies on the topic. A draft of the report includes a sobering forecast about how climate and weather conditions may change in the United States of America.

A recent street collapse after a heavy downpour in Baltimore is one example of extreme weather events that may be more common in the future according to a draft of the National Climate Assessment. The report says the warming is primarily driven by human activity and predicts temperatures in the United States could soar by as much as 10 degrees by the year 2100.

Snow and rain in the northeast could increase by nearly a third. Hurricanes in the southeast could be stronger with some areas called highly vulnerable to sea level rise. Wildfires in the southwest could increase with more intense drought conditions creating drier vegetation. The report also outlines the risk to our food supply. Activists who say that climate change threatens to completely alter the way that we live, the way we produce our food to where and how we live, have anticipated the findings of the draft report. The elderly, the sick, and the poor are the most vulnerable to the health impact according to the report and the future for our children is very unpredictable.

While policy makers debate climate change, the vast majority of climate scientists say it has already begun and is time for the country to prepare. NBC News, New York May 4, 2014.

Four years after the B.P. oil spill, the disaster is still causing death on the Mississippi delta. Twenty miles into the marsh the black tar has choked the life out of what was once a baby pelican nursery. As recently as a year ago there were pelicans seen but now there are just dead sticks. The tar is not the problem but the oily sheen that nobody has ever cleaned up. Tiny bacteria have absorbed the sheen and now wildlife officials worry it could be working its way into dolphins and other large predators. Increased numbers of dead dolphins are being seen coming ashore. It is true that there could be a number of things killing the dolphins along the Gulf coast. Scientists and lawyers are still trying to work out the oil’s exact environmental impact. B.P. has already spent more than $14 billion in cleanup efforts. Since the spill, many animal habitats have simply eroded away. Land bridges and islands that were once prevalent are now non-existent. But just one mile north there is some good news: the state bird of Louisiana is thriving. There are brown pelican eggs ready to hatch despite losing their old home to the oil slick. NBC News, Mississippi, May 4, 2014.

As I [Ellen White] hear of the terrible calamities that from week to week are taking place, I ask myself: What do these things mean? The most awful disasters are following one another in quick succession. How frequently we hear of earthquakes and tornadoes, of destruction by fire and flood, with great loss of life and property! Apparently these calamities are capricious outbreaks of seemingly disorganized, unregulated forces, but in them God’s purpose may be read. They are the means by which He seeks to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger.” Counsels for the Church, 355, 356.