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Climate change is real and is here to stay

by Peter Weinberger | pweinberger@claremont-courier.com

We are used to talking about climate change as some futuristic problem that’s years away if we don’t act to reduce carbon emissions. That remains true. But people who don’t believe in climate change either don’t believe in the science or think it’s too expensive to fix. What we are seeing today are results from that do-nothing approach.

I tend to avoid saying climate change is the cause of every weather front that blows through the US. But with each passing season, we see more dramatic proof the world’s weather has changed, and not in a good way. The world is heating up—two degrees so far—with no end in sight.

When was the last time a hurricane dumped three feet of rain over the Florida Panhandle? Hurricane Sally is yet another catastrophic weather event. And if climate change is too expensive to address as a country, then California taxpayers are on the hook for about $150 billion from fire damage this season…so far.

California’s wildfire season is so hardcore, breaking numerous records (again) for severity, it’s further proof that ignoring climate change will only cost more, and damage more lives. President Trump is correct when stating there needs to be more fire prevention management in dead, infected drought-stricken forests. But these trees died for one reason…disease brought on from drought caused in part by climate change.

How bad does the weather need to get before the Trump administration wakes up to address the problem? Do Claremont’s high temperatures need to reach 120 degrees before we say enough is enough? We are getting closer with a high last week of 113. It’s really not a huge difference.

Growing up in Claremont it wasn’t like we didn’t witness intense weather. One winter day while in class at El Roble, we heard all this screaming from people outside. We opened the door to find out it was snowing! I mean measurable snow. Before I knew it, the entire school was outside in the middle of a giant snowball fight. Fun times.

It’s no surprise Claremont veterans have experienced brush fires before. I remember watering our home roof when fires in the Mt Baldy area were lighting up the sky.

One year my parents were forced to evacuate from their home in north Claremont, just north of Base Line Road. But even during that brush fire, never did the sky turn yellow for days on end, causing yet another record…for air pollution.

Climate change has created a new normal for weather extremes. The bar is higher. Based on the weather in Claremont I’ve seen while growing up here, we are heating up. Unfortunately, finding a solution to help fix our weather will be far more elusive.

Let’s all go “Out on the Town”

On October 2-11, the Rotary Club of Claremont and the COURIER have teamed up to bring a wonderful non-viral event to the city! No Zoom links here! Claremont Rotary was unable to have its yearly Taste of Claremont dining event in 2020 because of COVID-19. So they came up with a great idea to help the local restaurants that have supported the Taste. It’s called “Out on the Town.”

Think of a restaurant week on steroids, as participating restaurants will have special menus for customers to dine outside or takeout. Eat at enough restaurants and you qualify for prizes and other goodies. Claremont Rotary is working hard to put the fun back into dining. It’s a great time for a change of pace, while supporting our restaurants, Claremont Rotary and the COURIER. We will publish a special section in our October 2 edition, serving as the official event guide. Come one, come all!

For more information about the event, check out this link: www.rotaryoutonthetown.com.

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