The cold, hard facts exist. Here is an excerpt from a recent article in Newsweek:
The burning of fossil fuels has raised atmospheric levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide by 40 percent above what they were before the Industrial Revolution. The added heat in the atmosphere retains more moisture, ratchets up the energy in the system, and incites more violent and extreme weather. Scientists disagree about whether climate change will bring more intense or frequent tornadoes, but there is wide consensus that the 2 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming of the last century is behind the rise in sea levels, more intense hurricanes, more heat waves, and more droughts and deluges. Even if the world went carbon-neutral tomorrow, we’d be in for more: because of the CO2 that has already been emitted, we’re on track for another 5 degrees of warming. Batten down the hatches. “You can no longer say that the climate of the future is going to be like the climate of today, let alone yesterday,” says Judi Greenwald, vice president of innovative solutions at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. “In all of the plausible climate scenarios, we are going to have to change the way we do things in ways we can’t even predict.”
As is usually the case, there are people at a grassroots level that are beginning to make small changes. the city of Chicago has several initiatives underway. One example, they have started planting trees in public areas that will survive warmer climates. They are trading out white oaks for swamp oaks which will survive in warmer climates. There are plans by the city of New York to paint all rooftops white to help reflect the sun in an attempt to keep Manhattan from becoming a heat island.
As the saying goes, all politics is local and it is clear political leaders at the local level have grown tired of waiting on national and global leaders to quit talking and start doing something. And here is where those of us engaged in supporting causes can try to help.
There is no more important cause than the environmental health of our planet. What I want to try to do and encourage others in cause to do as well is to find companies that are ready to step up and help. This could be companies of all sizes. Work with the cities at the local level to support through awareness, dollars and time the efforts they are undertaking to prepare for what a large majority of scientists say is going to happen.
It is these types of public-private partnerships working at the grassroots level that can make a difference. We can no longer wait on the national or global governments to take action.