Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day 09 The Climate is Changing

Blog Action day for 2009 is about global climate change. For me, it's a timely topic. Blog readers know that this summer my daughter and I drove from our East Tennessee home to Alaska. We saw many beautiful sites and learned of some heartbreaking news - the climate in Alaska is changing. In Denali National Park we saw 6 million acres of untouched natural wilderness. We learned of the animals struggle for survival and about the cycle of life. That cycle is being impacted by the warming temperatures of global climate change.

During our trip to Alaska we also heard about the ways that climate change is causing problems in Alaska. We were told that the polar ice caps are melting and that the glaciers are shrinking. This causes coastal flooding and erosion problems. Threatened animals must go farther in search of food. This puts them in the way of people. In some areas, there is a problem with people versus animals. Some of the locals shared with us that this is a growing problem.

The saddest news  came when we visited Glacier National Park. There, mighty glaciers that have been there for hundreds or thousands of years are disappearing. We were told that 126 glaciers were in the park in the late 1800's. Now, there are fewer than 30 of them. It saddens me to think that my grandchildren will not see them.

In East Tennessee the climate change issues have been subtle. There seem to be more days when the ozone levels are high. I have asthma and don't breathe well on those days. When the air gets bad I have to stay inside. We don't need a meteorologist to tell me what the levels are. I know when I wake up in the morning and go to the mailbox.My lung functioning almost always correlates to the ozone levels. If I can still breathe when I get back in the ozone levels are low. If I can't, the levels are high. Other people at church talk about similar problems.

There are those who wonder if climate change is real. For me, I only wonder what we can do to slow it down. For my grandchildren and great grandchildren, I just hope that we can slow it down or even reverse the damage that we, and our parents and grandparents have done.

Knoxville News Sentinel
Nature Conservancy - Global Climate Change in Alaska

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