Critics often dismiss ideas as “reactionary” -- meaning something is not valid because it is a reaction to an emotional event.
Well, this is a completely reactionary opinion on climate change inspired by last Wednesday’s weather.
Wednesday we had what might be described as a bad spring storm. Kids in local schools spent a portion of their day in hallways following tornado drill protocol; activities were canceled.
A couple of roads were closed, minor flooding occurred. Even though damage here didn’t get beyond a few downed trees and wet basements, nerves were on edge most of the morning and into the afternoon.
Pickens came out pretty well compared to the nearby areas. Fannin, Gordon and Bartow counties saw tornado damage.
The Jan. 30 storms caused an estimated $75 million in insured losses, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced. This was an early estimate according to the insurance office spokesperson and more reports were expected to be filed later.
The troubling thing about this spring storm is that it’s January. It’s ridiculous that we had to fret over a thunderstorm this time of year when we should be worrying about ice storms instead.
We don’t like thunderstorms and strong winds any time in Pickens County. We’ve had enough storms that tore down houses and killed people here that you don’t blame anyone for getting nervous when the winds pick up.
The last thing we want is more dramatic weather to come every year.
You can argue that this tornado in January was a pure fluke, an odd occurrence and not indicative of anything. After all, it was just one storm that occurred out-of season –it’s not like frogs fell from the sky.
But around the globe, there’s been so much abnormal weather that the unusual is now the norm.
As Bill Gausman, a senior vice president at the Potomac Electric Power Company told the New York Times, “We’ve got the ‘storm of the century’ every year now.”
Here are just a few of the current flukes:
• Coldest winter in China in 30 years. In Mongolia 180,000 livestock froze to death.
• It’s been so cold in Russia that street lights stopped working.
• 8 inches of snow fell in Jerusalem this year – if you don’t remember Jesus and his disciples dealing with icy conditions, weather experts said the recent snow was “truly unusual.”
• Drought and heat conditions in America’s farm belt caused all types of food-related issues last year.
• New Jersey and New York got hit so hard by a hurricane that it caused New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a popular conservative, to take up the climate change banner with zeal.
• Texas A & M researchers have theorized the above average temperatures of the past summers in their region are outside the limits of what highways are designed to withstand.
People who believe that climate change is occurring and it is caused by gases that human activity releases into the atmosphere will cite these weather aberrations as proof.
People who argue against human created climate change will say those are reactionary arguments as there have always been storms.
Even if those who deny climate change turn out to be right, when we have tornado sirens going off in January, it bears serious consideration that if anything we are doing is causing it, then we need to stop.
Yes, we are reactionary; we don’t like tornadoes or droughts or hurricanes and we sure don’t want any more of them than necessary.
As the old saying goes “better safe than sorry.”