Glacial melting threatens water supply

On “the Roof of Peru” the glaciers–which supply much of the country’s fresh water for drinking and for growing crops–have melted by 30%. Temperature rises have been significant in only the last decade. The threat of global warming is no longer up for debate–it’s real.

But as is often the case, because the poor and underprivileged will be the first to suffer the consequences, it’s easy for the powers-that-be to ignore the issue. The Washington Post is courageously giving full exposure to the politics of climate change while it educates the rest of us about the scientific facts.

A doctor from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says “a body needs at least three hours of cooling _ preferably by air conditioning _ to survive excessive heat.” So if you, like me, need it to be really cool at night, it seems maybe we’re not just being so fussy after all.

But the problem with these heat waves is that the air conditioning we need is contributing to the excessive carbon dioxide our industrial world is dumping into the atmosphere–and which is the biggest cause of this warming trend.

I’ve heard it said on a Chicago radio station, “just do one or two small things today to reduce pollution.” I like this idea. As with the millions of poor and hungry around the world, we as individuals cannot save everyone, but we can help a little. So today, walk to a store instead of driving your car (especially if you have a huge gas-guzzling machine). Today, make your air conditioning a degree or two warmer. Think about how precious water is–drink some right now, and maybe only flush the toilet every other time. Today, turn your lights off when you don’t need them; use fewer whenever possible.

This way, even if we’re not scientists trying to solve global warming in the laboratory, at least we can be a tiny bit less of the problem.