We love this summer weather. It brings out a different kind of “best of” Vermont.
But it’s worth noting, that last month was the hottest June ever recorded.
Data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Union, showed that the global average temperature for June 2019 was the highest on record for the month.
In France, memories of a deadly 2003 heat wave that killed 15,000 people in the country and left much of Europe sweltering still loom large.
Rapid assessment of average temperatures in France between June 26-28 showed a “substantial” increase in the likelihood of the heat wave happening as a result of human-caused global warming, experts at the World Weather Attribution group said.
The recent heat wave saw France record the hottest temperature in the country’s history (114F) and major wildfires across Spain, where temperatures exceeded 104F.
Germany, Poland and Czech Republic also recorded their highest temperatures for June last week.
Experts and scientists agree, we are in our new normal.
The jet stream and other circulation patterns are definitely changing.
Vermont author and activist Bill McKibben creates his own heat over the debate on climate change.
The author of 1989’s The End of Nature, often acknowledged as the first book for a general audience about what used to be known as “the greenhouse effect,” McKibben has been writing about climate issues for three decades.
In his new book, “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?,” McKibben surveys the state of havoc caused by climate change, identifies those institutions and individuals that ignore or actively abet it, and turns his attention to new technologies poised to change the very essence of what it means to be human. He also finds a measure of hope for the future, relying on the power of cheap energy and nonviolent resistance.
The book is getting a lot of attention. And while it’s not exactly a beach read, it might be a necessary read.
As one reviewer noted, “McKibben’s book is much more about grounds for fear, which take up some 18 chapters, than about grounds for hope, which take up five. Fear will motivate some people who are currently undecided, and increase the motivation of others already convinced. But in my experience most people need a strong dose of hope to be spurred to action. Why waste effort on a hopeless cause? One group that has learned this lesson is the cancer lobby, which succeeds at raising funds for research by stressing cures that may be just around the corner more than the grim statistics of the disease’s ongoing toll.”
This book, like McKibben’s others — including “Enough” “The End of Nature” and “Eaarth,” among others — is another call to action.
While he talks the talk, activists know McKibben walks the walk.
About 10 years ago, he co-founded 350.org, the first “planet-wide grassroots climate change movement.” 350.org has organized more than 20,000 rallies across the globe in protest of fossil fuels and has promoted the growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
But there are plenty of people out there who want to dismiss McKibben and people of his ilk.
On these very pages, the debate has raged, even as it seemed the facts are irrefutable.
It seems people are increasingly encouraged to see risks like this through a political frame. When this happens, facts can become irrelevant because no matter how smart people are, many will simply deny the evidence to protect their side of the political debate.
That is naive and ignorant. We need the discussion. We need the input. We need the facts.
As one reviewer of “Falter” noted, “It will take many different voices to persuade the world’s diverse citizens and corporations to collaborate on solving the world’s biggest problems. McKibben’s voice has been an influential one. My hope is that his new book will strengthen the motivation of those already sympathetic to his views. My fear is that it won’t convince many who remain hostile to them. I hope that my first prediction proves right, and that my second proves wrong.”
When a hotter world is becoming the new normal, how do we, in good conscience, sit by and ignore a call to action? It’s not coming from Europe or the melting polar ice caps. It’s coming from our own back yard.
We need to listen. And act. We must not falter.