Opinion

Climate change slowly boiling our planet

To the editor:


There is a famous though cruel laboratory experiment in which frogs were either dropped into a pot of boiling water or placed in cold water that was then slowly heated to boiling. The frogs dropped into boiling water immediately jumped out of the pot, thus saving themselves, while those placed in the cold water before it was heated remained in their pot, apparently oblivious to the advancing threat, until they died.


Turns out human beings are much the same as the frogs that did not respond to what was happening, particularly when it comes to climate change.


Even though there is near-unanimous consensus among climate scientists that our use of fossil fuels is rapidly and dangerously warming our planet and altering our climate, we seem hellbent on ignoring every warning sign, including the increasing intensity of storms, the northern migration and lengthening season of disease-bearing insects like ticks and mosquitoes, the proliferation of catastrophic fires throughout the Western United States, or even the increased cost of keeping our homes cool during hotter and hotter summers, among so many other impacts.


Unless your home has burned down in a wildfire ? not likely in Iowa - or you?re a farmer whose yields have been reduced from droughts or floods ? more likely in Iowa ? you?re not likely to think very deeply about the changes happening here and all over our planet and the danger these changes forebode not just for human life, but for all life on Earth.


Just as assuredly as the second group of frogs were boiled to death, life on our planet faces catastrophic disruption, or worse, if we fail to wake up and take aggressive action to combat climate change. Failure to do so would amount to the most shameful legacy imaginable for our children, grandchildren, and all future generations. Meeting the challenge, though not simple or easy, will be a gift for which we will be remembered forever. Let?s get to it.


 


- Jonas Magram, Fairfield