(Also at OC Progressive & My Silver State)
Compared with the period from 1960 through 1979, temperatures in the Southwest are expected to rise 4 to 10 degrees by the end of the century.
The chance for longer-lasting heat waves could force the region’s residents to use more air conditioning, which would increase the risk of blackouts as electricity supplies become depleted.
The report also warned that the region, already suffering an extended drought as evidenced by declines in Colorado River flow and spring snowpack, should be prepared to face large reductions in spring precipitation by the end of the century. With that, combined with temperature increases and rapid population growth, the Southwest can expect increased competition for water.
The rising temperatures will also lead to more wildfires, and the loss of wetlands will cause more flooding along rivers. Also, ski resort areas will have less snow, cutting recreational opportunities.
While all of this sounds like a doomsday movie script, it is being presented to the public in all seriousness by many of the country’s top scientists.
The Sun mentioned this brutal reality today in a hard-hitting editorial on the need for real action on the climate crisis. The whole world is threatened, but we’re especially at risk here in The American Southwest where I and many others live. We already have little water, but climate change may end up taking away the little water we have left.
So what can we do? We need to change. We need to rethink the way we interact with this planet.
We need to make some hard choices. We need to use less water. We need to use less gasoline. We need to be more wise in using the limited resources we have.
Oh yes, and we need to rethink which natural resources we use to power our society. We need more solar, more wind, and more biomass. We need to rethink our entire energy infrastructure.
We need a national blueprint to solve the climate crisis. Fortunately, UCS already has one. And better yet, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection has an easy to understand Repower America plan to conserve our national resources, solve our energy problem, and save our planet.
HR 2454 has been introduced in Congress, and honestly it’s a good start. The bill contains incentives to develop clean energy as well as better energy efficiency standards. However, more can be done to improve it. That’s why it’s critical for us to take action now to get our federal government to be a part of the solution. While state and local conservation and renewable energy measures have definitely helped, we desperately need Washington to stop being a part of the problem and start being a part of the solution.
Whether we like it or not, “Doomsday” will fast approach if we do nothing. Are we ready to do something? Are we ready to solve the climate crisis?