“Those folks are sure worked up about that power line,” marveled Max. “They said the lines would look like those along Madison’s south beltline highway. It was almost as if folks could picture those looming lines and towers marching across the Iowa County countryside.”
Later…migrating to the library upstairs Millie logged in (clever mouse!) and while surfing the web came across an on-line article from ScientificAmerican.com. It explained how the Earth had just experienced 11 consecutive (now 12!) hottest months on record worldwide. The article went on to detail the recently recorded largest year-to-year jump in CO2 levels ever measured and also the record low level of sea ice in the Arctic this past winter. In places like the Midwest temperature increases are less severe, but in the Arctic where folks depend on ice and permafrost climatic warming is happening at twice the rate of the rest of the planet with devastating effect.
“Wow!” exclaimed Millie. “We can’t just let the Earth keep getting hotter and hotter catastrophically changing the climate. Yet many humans don’t seem to be getting all worked up like they are about that power line for instance.”
“Yeah,” replied Max. “Even though 400 parts per million of CO2 in today’s atmosphere is WAY over the millennial average of about 280 ppm, many folks just shrug. Maybe it’s because they can’t picture greenhouse gasses like they can those towers and lines. Just imagine if those gasses were inky-gray. People would see their beautiful clear skies slowly darkening day by day. I’ll bet then they’d be pouring into these Congressional listening sessions demanding that something be done!”
Millie and Max talked about “darkening skies” long into the night. They nodded off just as the first hints of dawn streamed through the library windows secure in the knowledge that humans are too wise to continue to brush aside this challenge. After all, this planet is the only home people will ever know. They’re forever…Earthbound.”