There are now three participants in the ongoing debate about climate change. There are those who think the climate is changing at unprecedented levels, due to human activity, and must be addressed as immediate and urgent. Most now have accepted that. Then we still have a few those who, in face of overwhelming science, still believe it is not true. (You can’t see a hurricane from where their heads are buried!) That number these days is really small. There is however a third group now, made up mainly of those from the dwindling second group I mentioned, and that is the “can kickers”. These are the ones that say “okay, maybe your were right, and we now believe it is real enough … but we want to kick the can down the road, because it is really not a problem that affects us now”. Fifty, or a hundred, or two hundred years, whatever, its a long time down the road, so why worry. We’ll find a solution, right? Throw some money at it. Who knows? But for some of us, those who for example live in hurricane country, climate change’s effects are not a can to be kicked down the road. Storms today are more frequent and more severe than ever before. And if that is not bad enough, there is now a new climate change phenomena going on that might be another can we can’t just kick down the road because it is already here.
Clean-up After Last Weeks Storms
Last week, both Cancun and Chetumal, had storms that packed winds over 120 MPH and waterspout cyclones were developing along the shore and spinning onto the mainland. These “mahaches” as the native Maya have traditionally referred to them, are not new, but the warmer Caribbean waters have made these storms more frequent and much more intense. Sound familiar?
Local meteorologist say the phenomena has to do with weather fronts, specifically squall lines, that pass over the area. The colder fronts that approach the warm waters of the ocean change at a faster pace, causing squall lines that produce storms, that in turn, produce these micro-burst storms. When they are wind and rain for a short burst, it is no big deal. Brief flooding is about it. But occasionally they produce these mahaches, and the waterspout/tornadoes do what tornadoes do. Tear stuff up. However, now the difference in temperatures today are greater than ever, causing more, and much more intense storms this year.
The storms that hit Chetumal last week, did nothing in Mahahual, about 40 miles away as the crow flies, except give us a light show. No wind or rain. That is how small the storm was. Yet it knocked over large trees and billboards, and there was significant damage throughout the city. Several tornadoes were reported even. This was not your ordinary mahache. And I suppose these are not ordinary times. The storms are now becoming more regular from February to May, when the fronts are cold and the waters are warming faster than normal. The rate they are warming, to the point they can interact with the cold fronts now, is earlier, causing what had been in the past, a very occasional thing, into a new and dangerous season; mahache season. That’s gonna suck! I don’t even like the sound of that!!
As the debate continues, some of us on the front line of that debate continue to deal with the real affects of climate change. Hurricane predictions are for an active season this year in the Atlantic/Caribbean, so we now have that to look forward to. If we are at the end of the cold fronts for this spring, then I’ll have made it through Mahache season unscathed this year. That’s good at least! June 1st is the official start of hurricane season, but the statistical peak is more mid August to mid October. That, I guess, is another can I can’t kick down the road either.
Pay attention. Climate change is real, it is unprecedented, it is the result of human behavior and it may or may not be repairable at this point. Over 97% of ALL PUBLISHED SCIENCE ANYWHERE, agrees with this. ALL of the less than 3% of counter opinion, has been science funded by energy sources. The problem is very simple; the reforms needed to repair the climate changes we are experiencing will cost big polluters, big money, so they buy (fund) science and give it their corporate cousins in the media, to brainwash the people into not making them fix the problem they created to begin with. It is cheaper and they can continue making money off polluting. Not sure how to fix that. Paying attention would be a good start.
So if you would please, don’t kick this can down the road, because it just so happens, it has now reached my road!