The climate is changing, and not for the better. The whole planet is warming. CO2 and other greenhouse gases are accumulating exponentially in the atmosphere. The polar ice sheets are melting. Sea levels are rising. Coastal flooding and storm surges are increasing. The oceans are warming and acidifying as they absorb more CO2. Coral reefs are dying around the globe. Utah’s snow pack is diminishing, threatening our water supply and winter economy. Glaciers are melting, threatening millions who depend on them for fresh water. Deforestation, desertification, droughts, dust storms and deadly wildfires are increasing. Choking air pollution from burning carbon plagues many of the world’s cities including those along the Wasatch Front. Feeding the Earth’s 7.7 billion people is an increasing challenge with more people starving. Hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes and inland flooding are on the increase. Climate-related refugees, conflicts, strife and wars are forecast. The Pentagon is developing contingency plans for that scenario. Tropical insects, diseases and invasive species are spreading. Species destruction and die-offs are now occurring at alarming rates.
What’s causing all this, and what should be done? The Utah Valley Earth Forum has assembled a select team from Utah’s four largest universities to discuss the climate crisis and address your questions. It’s happening Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. at the Orem Public Library. Details at UtahValleyEarthForum.org.
James Westwater, Spanish Fork