So about a week ago, we began hearing reports that Chapel Hill was going to be hit by about a foot of snow. I, wanting to keep my plans and carry on with life as usual, completely ignored these reports. Weather forecasters are wrong, right? I didn't join the massive push for groceries, didn't stock up on bread, water, and eggs (to be fair, I don't understand how this is a "meal" anyway... but you get the idea). I didn't lay out my best scarf and snowboots, didn't move my car to a parking deck, and certainly didn't call off my Dressember campaign. I carried on with life, as usual, ignoring all the signs.
And you know what happened? It snowed. It snowed about a foot in less than 24 hours, and it's still coming down. I got snowed in after my final exams were already over, with minimal food aside from Christmas cookies and Lipton soup to sustain me. Now, this isn't really a bad thing in my opinion. My friends and I have been playing in the snow and chowing on Christmas cookies for two days and I can't say its been such an imposition. But I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.
I was in denial of the snow, believing that people were much more knowledgeable than I, were probably wrong about their field of expertise. And in the end, as one might expect, those people were right, and I was wrong.
I'm sure you laughed a little bit reading this, thinking, "Well whatever gave her the idea that those people wouldn't be right?"
To that, I say, exactly.
People around the world are at this very instance denying not only the fact that climate change is caused at least in part by humans but also (and much more alarmingly) that it's happening at all. And climate change does not care, because it's happening either way.
The most compelling piece of evidence for me is the fact that when I lived in North Carolina at age 7, in 2005, I cried in December because it was so warm we wore shorts. I remember very specifically going out in my backyard and playing in the sandbox in shorts and a t-shirt with my brother (he had on bright orange shorts and an army green shirt, my mom's way of keeping the mud he basically lived in from ruining everything), and then being told to come in and shower before Christmas Eve mass, and putting on my red and white Christmas dress (my favorite ever) which I was supposed to wear with tights. I couldn't wear the tights; it was too warm.
Flash forward to 2018, after a stint in chilly and snowy Switzerland, a place where it is seldom so warm you need shorts except perhaps in late July and early August. I have experienced more snow in North Carolina in the last year than I had in the prior combined seven years spent here over the course of my childhood. We have gotten about 22 inches of snow this year, in a state grossly unprepared to deal with that sort of snowfall or the cold temperatures that come with it.
Perhaps this is just a weird weather thing, and that could be. But the point is that places all around the world are experiencing weather for which they are grossly unprepared, and climate change is at least in part to blame.
Climate change does not care whether you deny it or not, scientists the world over are in agreement that it is happening and that it will impact all of us. The choice is ours when it comes to what is done with that information.