There have been times when I doubted global warming. This is not about the debate about whether global warming is true, it has to do with what has been happening to our environment based on the records. One to start with, if you were born no more than 30 years ago you have never experienced a year with a below average temperatures. So global warming, even though something that can only be proven over an extended number of years by comparing it with an even longer period of years, is easier for younger people to believe.
Ed Perry, an aquatic biologist with the National Wildlife Federation, spoke to hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts about global warming July 25, in the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park.
The National Wildlife Federation, the largest conservation organization in America, has a mission of inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.
Perry pointed out that global average temperatures have been above the long term average for 350 consecutive months.
At the heart of Perry's message, if global temperatures continue to rise as anticipated, 80 years from nor our area will experience many days with temperatures above 90 degrees, nearly the entire summer.
Studies show that children tend to stay indoors on days when the temperature reaches 90 degrees. Accordingly the physical condition of kids will deteriorate. Life spans will be less than our own. This continues a trend that started only recently, of younger people with shorter life expectancies than previous generations.
Computers and computer games already have been the direct cause of kids spending much more time indoors that was the case of kids born as recently as the 1980s. Combine this with global warming and we will see even more how technology is causing a deterioration of human life.
This is not to imply that kids should not learn and practice computer skills and keep up with the latest technology. Rather there should be a healthy balance, with correspondingly beneficial allotments of time for each.
Kids can learn a great deal of information by using computers and other technology. But information alone is not enough for kids to reach their potential. They need time outdoors, not with adults but with other kids. Being outdoors on their own gives kids the basic skills needed for solving problems, and for cooperating with others.
Now it is a parental decision about whether to let kids play outdoors, and how they play outdoors. Most likely, it appears, it will not be a choice by the next century.
Global statistics point to global warming.
We have had 350 consecutive months with temperatures above the long term average.
The 10 hottest years ever recorded occurred within the past 15 years.
West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are shrinking at an alarming rate.
Weather has become more extreme and less predictable.
The American West has gone through 13 consecutive years of drought. Forest fire seasons are longer. Coupled with insects destroying many conifer trees, which has resulted in much more dead wood on forest floors to fuel forest fires, this has led to an increased amount of forest fires.
Perry said the USDA Forest Service is spending half its budget on fighting fires now.
Animal migration patterns and breeding patterns have changed. With large expanses of habitat changing, some decreasing, some increasing, it is not known how plants and animals will respond.
Moose are declining all across the southern part of their range, almost certainly a result, directly or indirectly, of climate change. This has led to reduced hunting license allocations in New England.
Some of our favorite plants and animals likely will be gone from Pennsylvania by the next century. Perry predicted a poor outlook for ruffed grouse and hemlock. It water temperatures in our smaller streams increase too much, brook trout can not be expected to adapt.
Pointing fingers at others as the cause of global warming is ridiculous. All but a minuscule minority of Americans do not contribute to global warming.