Then there was the time that Les suggested they could save a lot of money if he cut and permed Anita’s hair instead of paying a beautician. The poodle-with-a-paw-stuck-in-the-light-socket look caused Gladys, the neighbor lady, to faint. “No worries; it’ll grow out again,” Anita generously commented, relieving Les from spending a night in the dog house.
Recently, on the evening weather report they heard that 2017 will likely be among the three warmest years on global record, according to the World Meteorological Organization, right behind 2016 and 2015. Les and Anita hadn’t paid much attention to this climate change thing and mostly thought it was a bunch of hooey. “So what if it gets warmer for a while? At some point it’ll swing back the other way, and we’ll get a do-over,” Les commented adding ice to his drink.
But as he swirled those cubes around in his glass and watched them slowly melt he thought about the record number of icebergs that are calving off the ice shelves at the poles and the resulting sea level rise. Once the ice in his glass has diluted his scotch, it won’t re-solidify even if he takes his glass out into the winter weather.
Then he remembered that his mother-in-law’s condo in Fort Lauderdale sits just a few feet above sea level. Most residents in that city already live in or close to a special flood hazard area. A rising ocean will increase that hazard. Once permanently flooded land is gone and the infra-structure is destroyed, they won’t magically reappear even if temperatures were to drop back to normal.
“Golly, I hadn’t thought about it, but with this climate change thing there’s no chance for a re-do. If we lose many of the Wisconsin plants and animals that thrive in the current conditions, we’ll lose the place we love. Something else will take its place. I’d rather hold on to what we’ve got – our beautiful homeland where we’re forever… Earthbound.”