Friday, August 10, 2012

Denial is deadly

It's a blistering record—and it has nothing to do with the 2012 London Olympics. The month of July was the hottest month in U.S. history, hotter than the Dust Bowl of 1936 and the hottest month on record since 1895, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Summer is still beautiful in the Sun Valley area. Even so, 64 percent of the nation is now experiencing drought. Crops are withering in the Midwest and South. The governor of Idaho declared our very own Blaine County a drought emergency area in mid-July because of shrinking agricultural water supplies.

The drought's not only affecting farmers and ranchers. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game recently removed limits on fish taken in Fish Creek Reservoir because fish are dying in the low water levels.

Periodically, Idahoans are breathing smoke from desert and forest wildfires.

The verdict on the fact that human activities are driving the Earth's temperatures to dangerous highs was in long ago. Yet, Americans have launched only feeble responses to a phenomenon that could make the only planet we've got uninhabitable.

It's easier to call these summer days "scorchers," crawl into our air-conditioned spaces and think nary a further thought about them. It's easier to mock a hybrid Toyota Prius by calling it a "pious" than to do the incredibly hard work of reorganizing our cities and lifestyles in order to turn back climate change.

It's easier to live in denial, but that's for fools, not for people who want to live and live well.

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