Letter: The reach of climate change

Monday, September 11, 2017
The reach of climate change

The Aug. 31 Monitor had a very interesting front-page story headlined “If Harvey hit N.H., it would hit hard.”

This story said that it would be impossible for us to get as much rain as Harvey, the “once in a 1,000-year storm,” dumped on Houston. But let’s be clear: That doesn’t mean that we’re out of the woods in terms of climate change impacts. And, for the record, there’s no doubt among real climate scientists that Harvey’s rainfall numbers were enhanced by the warmer air and water derived from ongoing global climate change.

Climate change in New Hampshire is already impacting everything that is temperature-dependent, which – when you think about it – is a lot. This includes commercial agriculture, driving (on icier roads), fishing, gardening, hunting, ice fishing (and skating), leaf peeping, maple syrup making, skiing, sled riding, snowmobiling, and ticks and the many other pests that are moving north with our warmer winters. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, people are also suffering from the impacts of climate change, including drought, landslides, wildfires and many others – some of which we have also experienced here. For example, Harvey and Irma are overshadowing the 1,200-plus wildfires now burning in the U.S.

I urge all readers, and others to do as I did: Call the offices of your U.S. senators, Jeanne Shaheen (1-202-224-2841) and Maggie Hassan (1-202-224-3324) to express your concern and ask them to demonstrate more leadership relating to our need to deal with the existential threat of climate change. You will be doing us all a huge favor if you do.