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POV: Climate change a real threat

Climate scientists are telling us that we must drastically begin reducing carbon emissions by 2015 if we’re going to prevent catastrophic climate change. They’re telling us that a 100-year flood like that caused by Hurricane Irene could happen a lot more often—even every 10 years. The cost of recovering from that mega-hurricane that destroyed so many towns in our region was estimated at $7 billion to $10 billion. And let’s not forget Hurricane Katrina and how it impacted New Orleans and the gulf states.

Scientists and organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) are saying that the explosion of tornadoes just experienced by Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states could become the rule, not the exception. All of this, plus things like wind storms, extreme heat, and droughts have become commonplace in the rest of the world. In the summer of 2003, a heat wave in France was blamed for the deaths of 30,000 people.

Just last year, almost all of Texas experienced record heat and as I’m writing this almost 20 towns in that state are very close to running out of water.

Here at home, we’re having to deal with a deer tick infestation unheard of back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. The devilish insects have spread as far north as St.Johnsville, Vt. and are to blame for people, pets, and horses contracting lyme disease. Thanks to the increased pollution, the number of asthma cases has doubled over the past 30 years, and rare diseases like dengue fever have stricken folks downstate.

Despite his calling global warming one of the biggest challenges of the century, President Obama has not lead on this issue. At climate talks in Durban, South Africa this past December, Obama pushed for capping carbon emissions by 2020. Outrageous! when you consider that by then we will have missed the window for avoiding runaway climate change.

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