Relax: Climate Change Not All Bad

Bill Neinast

My neighborhood is bucking the trend.  More are leaving than coming in.

Here, for example, is a list of some of the neighbors who have left in the last 40 years without a forwarding address: quail, bull frogs, night hawks (sometimes called bull bats), beavers, horned frogs, chaparral birds (called road runners in Walt Disney cartoons), doodle bugs, ticks, chiggers, red and harvester ants, squirrels, tarantulas, and hickory trees.  

Some Winter Texans also gave us a goodbye wave sometime ago.  Until about ten years ago, our backyard and garden were home to robin red breasts in the late winter months.  Now they seem to have found greener pastures.

Conversely, the only new neighbors are fire ants, wild hogs, and otters.  

The fire ants that evicted the ticks and chiggers and the otters that are fun to watch are great neighbors.  The wild hogs, however, are turning their neighborhoods into slums and a search is ongoing for a way to evict them permanently.

Undoubtedly, some readers are now shaking their heads and thinking, “See!, we told you so.  Climate change is already taking its toll and will get much worse as the days roll by.  Some of those scientists who sit in front of their prophetic computers all day are telling us that the world as we know it will be gone in 12 short years.”

Those readers and scary scientists should relax a bit, pull themselves away from their computers, and pick up some books of facts and history for a while.

A little of that history would reveal that the first two neighbors mentioned above said goodbye when the climate experts of the day were wringing their hands over an ice age that was about to descend upon us.   Actually, it was during a time when our stock ponds were frozen so solidly that our children were ice skating or sliding across them.

More importantly, a little research away from the computers might lead them across statements like this from super model Giesele Bundchen, “Nature is the best teacher.  She’s always teaching you how to adapt.”

One of the best examples of that adaptability might be the Sahara Desert.  According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, “For several hundred thousand years, the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41,000 year cycle.”

Now look at the African continent today.  The Sahara is currently in its desert mode, but the bulk of the African Continent continues to thrive with animal and human populations.

So how could the American continents adapt to soaring temperatures?  

First, Winter Texans would morph into Summer Minnesotans and Dakotans.  The narrow band of inhabitants along the southern border of Canada would start expanding northward into the vast uninhabited and undeveloped northern portion of that country.

The growing and cultivating seasons in the north would be extended to compensate for the same seasons being shortened by the heat in the south.  In other words, the orchards and vegetable farms opening in northern Canada would replace those drying up in Mexico and South Texas.

Similarly, overseas places like Siberia would become the bread basket of Europe.

Humans could also easily adapt to the possible dwindling of fresh water supplies. 

First, there would have to be reasonable and sensible rules on water conservation.  The example of the Jews moving back into Israel and, as the saying goes, making the desert bloom with things like drip irrigation instead of those massive overhead sprinklers squirting much of the water into the air.

Then look at those rising ocean levels as blessings.  Although there was never a danger of running out of sea water, those rising levels just means there is even more there for human use.

Through necessity, the human body may adapt to needing less water and may adapt to absorbing a bit of mildly salty water.  

More  important, humans would quickly develop ways of moving tremendous amounts of water from the ocean to areas that do not border one of the many bodies of salty water.  Simultaneously, the areas not on a coast line would develop cheap, efficient methods of making that ocean water potable.

So here’s the perspective.

The climate is changing, just as it has forever.  It may get hotter for a while.  

So what?  Some animals may become extinct as has occurred many times throughout history, but they will be replaced as always.

In the meantime, humans will adapt as they have since day one of human existence.

So relax, pull yourself away from those computers and join the late Doris Day in singing “Whatever Will Be, Will Be.”



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