It used to be that the onset of spring was marked by certain rituals such as Opening Day, and changes consistent with warmth such as green grass and blossoms on the fruit trees. Baseball is here in the “D,” but seeing a night game now is more akin to being at a hockey game.

It has been a long, cold winter here in Michigan.

This makes the recent report from Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change all the more interesting to me. Any reasonably intelligent human being (or about 40% of Americans) has known for years that climate change has been occurring and it’s due to human activity.

The latest report reaffirms the consensus among world scientists, but also pointed out that the disastrous effects of climate change are already being felt. This is important because climate change doubters have lately resorted to denying the effects of climate change rather than the reality. In effect, they say “so what? It will be hundreds of years before it makes a difference.” Wrong again right wing.

In Michigan, the winters will be longer and winter storms more brutal. The delay in ground warming will cause farmers to plant much later, resulting in lower yields. Fruit trees will continue to blossom earlier, and be vulnerable to late frosts, such as what happened two years ago.

Heat waves will cause hundreds of deaths in big cities. While most of the Southwest will continue to experience the worst drought in over a century, we will experience a wetter climate with more violent storms, including tornadoes and flash floods. In other words, the disastrous economic effects are already starting, but are only a fraction of what will happen if we don’t do something soon.

Consider what you can do personally to reduce your energy consumption and to put a fire underneath our government representatives to act now.

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