In just the last week, back yards and busy streets of coastal towns in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island were overrun with river water and saw coastal flooding after experiencing record-breaking rainfall totals; well over five inches in a 24-hour span in some parts, while Boston saw nearly three inches on Sunday.
A report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released earlier this week, warns that while temperatures are not only rising faster than previously expected – at roughly 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit every year – but the probability that it is a man-made phenomenon also rose from 90 percent in 2007 to 95 percent in September 2013.
Although we didn’t see any Superstorm Sandy on the east coast this hurricane season, forecasters are now predicting 11 named storms, five of which are thought to reach hurricane status in 2014, according to a Weather Channel report last week.
In addition to immediate events, the U.N. report also points to carbon emissions at the root of desolation in the agricultural districts of the country, taking a huge toll on food production, and predicting cuts to the world economic output by nearly 2 percent each year.
In an age when polar ice cap melting is no longer a myth, and storms are consistently larger and the cause for cataclysmic ecological and economic effects, lawmakers should take note what scientists have been saying for nearly a century and address the severity of climate change.
While steps have already been taken by an ambitious few, yesterday is the time for a citywide, and worldwide effort, to impose stricter emissions regulations, recycling standards and innovation for new incentives to convert ozone-damaging gasses to renewable energy.