The Climate Has Already Changed: Let’s Talk About It

Is Weather Instability a Direct Outcome of Climate Change?

When people talk about the environment, you’ll often hear “climate” and “weather” mentioned. Though they’re sometimes used as if they mean the same thing, they actually refer to very different aspects of the atmosphere around us. Understanding how they differ is key to recognizing the ongoing nature of climate change, viewed through the lens of long and short term weather events.

Climate is all about the long-term trends in weather for a certain area—like the average temperature, how much rain falls, and what the winds are like over many years. It’s what we expect the weather to be, based on historical records, setting the scene for what’s typical in different seasons. Weather, however, is what’s happening right now, in the moment—whether it’s raining, sunny, or stormy. It can change quickly and doesn’t stick to a schedule.

There’s a saying that goes, “Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.” This means that while climate gives us a general idea of what weather to anticipate, the actual weather can vary a lot, sometimes with immediate and powerful impacts on our daily life. This unpredictability is at the heart of what makes weather different from the more stable patterns of climate.

Perhaps you’ve heard people say something like, “the weather is different than it used to be; something is going on”. Of course, this perception could be influenced by personal experiences, media coverage, and cultural beliefs about the environment. 

Scientifically, studies strongly support the perception that the weather is changing. According to reports from leading scientific organizations like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), there is strong evidence that the Earth’s climate is changing due to human activities, particularly the emission of greenhouse gases. 

Hence, the weather is different, and that’s not just a random occurrence. It’s a sign of the broader issue of climate change. This connection is evidenced by the global increase in extreme weather—particularly intense heatwaves, powerful hurricanes, long-lasting droughts, and severe floods. These events are happening more often, are more intense, and are harder to predict. Both weather and climate affect people’s health, safety, and economies worldwide.

The reasons behind the uptrend in extreme weather include natural factors and human actions, especially the increase in greenhouse gases from things like cars, factories, cutting down forests, farming, and building cities. These gases trap more heat in the atmosphere, which not only warms up the planet but also messes with established weather patterns, making extreme weather more common.

This growing instability in our weather should be a loud wake-up call about climate change. Because extreme weather shows how directly human actions, like emitting greenhouse gases for 150 years, impact our planet’s health. The scientific evidence is undeniable: the shifts we’re seeing in weather patterns are early warning signs of a much bigger climate crisis.

There’s another saying, “Climate lasts all the time and weather only a few days.”

If the climate is indeed warming, and will continue to deteriorate because of human activity, then extreme weather may be the new normal—and isn’t that another wake up call?

Logically, loud wake-up calls should make a person wake up and be woke, right? But “woke” is so loaded with divisive political meanings, it is impossible to use that term innocently without causing controversy. Ditto for  “climate change” and “global warming” in some circles. 

As a nation, we’re not heeding our wake-up calls, because both political parties use the climate issue to their advantage. They exploit it as a tool to gain support and to push their agendas. Here are the strategies used:

Republicans like to focus on the economic downsides of taking drastic measures against climate change. They argue that steps to reduce emissions could hurt businesses, cause job losses, and make energy more expensive for everyday people. They advocate for boosting domestic energy production, including fossil fuels, to achieve energy independence, which they see as a matter of national security. Republicans often call for fewer environmental regulations, claiming they hold back economic growth and innovation. Some even challenge the scientific consensus on climate change, suggesting there’s still debate over its causes and impacts.

Democrats, on the other hand, treat climate change as an urgent, existential crisis that demands quick and comprehensive action. They believe in rallying support by stressing the moral responsibility to safeguard the environment for future generations. Democrats argue that fighting climate change can actually create jobs and spur economic growth through green energy and technology. They emphasize the concept of environmental justice, pointing out that climate change disproportionately harms the most vulnerable and marginalized communities. Internationally, they see the U.S. as a leader in the fight against global warming, advocating for cooperation and moral leadership on the world stage.

Each party uses climate change talking points to set themselves apart, to mobilize their supporters, and to attract undecided voters. Both sides use climate change to shape public debate, sway opinion, and achieve their broader goals. Neither side has any real incentive to solve the problem, because it is too useful politically. Fix it? No way.

The political weaponization of climate change illustrates the deep ideological divide in America today. The resulting gridlock and inaction is frankly pathetic. Future generations may think of us as the most unwise generation that ever lived. If they experience devastating, catastrophic effects of climate change, they’ll wonder why we spent so much time and energy arguing, instead of taking logical steps to curb emissions by transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources. 

If future generations don’t experience catastrophic climate change effects, they still have the right to be mad at us. Because the actions we are not taking, would have been good for people and the environment. After all, coal and oil won’t last forever, regardless of whether we import from foreign countries. Therefore, transitioning to sustainable and clean energy sources is sensible policy in the long run. The fossil fuel economy is not.

The evidence for climate change is clear and compelling, underscoring the need for urgent action to mitigate its impacts. The scientific consensus is robust, with researchers and institutions worldwide recognizing the significance of the data and the critical need to address the human activities contributing to these changes.

Unfortunately, science doesn’t convince everyone. The people who are willing to believe the science, already do. Whatever dire predictions scientists make about climate change, are lost on people who won’t be convinced by scientists. Gloom-and-doom climate change messages simply do not work. They are not having the intended effect of galvanizing public action. 

Instead, climate action messages are met with denial, fear and guilt, emotions that, rather than spurring individuals into action, are causing them to disengage and focus on something that lifts their spirits instead. When facing an issue as vast and complex as climate change, it’s tempting for many to simply look the other way and leave it for the next person to handle.

To many, climate change feels like a distant threat, something that will only happen in the far future, in far-off places, to other species. Problems with melting ice and polar bears don’t seem urgent enough to require immediate action.

Scientists and policymakers find themselves at a loss on how to effectively engage the public on climate issues. It’s as if climate change was specifically designed to be the ultimate challenge, clashing directly with human psychology and the way societies make decisions.

We must find different ways to inspire engagement and action without resorting to messages that trigger defensive or avoidant behaviors. If we can make climate action feel more accessible and immediate, rather than an insurmountable challenge in the far future, we may be able to overcome the psychological and political biases which currently hinder us.

I know that some who are reading this article think the whole issue is a hoax. That climate change is a tactic of the opposition party. Whose facts and sources cannot be trusted. I am certain that my words, no matter how carefully I choose them, won’t be convincing enough to change some minds. I could quote facts about air samples, ice cores, ocean levels, and studies of plants and animals, pointing to a clear fact: our climate is shifting. But I won’t.

Personally, I think the unpredictable weather we’re seeing now is a clear indicator of climate change at work, emphasizing the need for action to protect the Earth for the generations to come. You’ve heard the facts, and too many pointless arguments.

So let’s watch some YouTube videos, to see what’s happening around the world, in places near and far, involving people like you and me. Not polar bears. As the saying goes, “the camera does not lie.” If we let the weather speak for itself, perhaps future generations won’t hate us at all.

All these events happened in the past year.

Massive wildfires cause evacuations in Texas panhandle

Catastrophic Floods Hit Nations Around the World, Can This Natural Disaster Impact You?

This Tornado Destroyed A Town In Front Of Me

Scientists Say 2023 Amazon Drought Most Severe in Recorded History | VOANews

Saudi Arabia now! Millions of giant stones rained down from heaven! Hail covered the desert white

Drought is devastating crops in the Midwest

Megaburst, Strong Winds, McAllen, TX 29 April 2023

Southeast Asian cities face existential crisis as they sink while sea levels rise

California’s Death Valley has a lake. Here’s what to know about it

Extreme weather: glacial flooding, wildfires and hailstorms cause havoc across the world

Climate-change migrants: what can be done?

China: cars swept away by flood waters in Beijing after Typhoon Doksuri

Hottest year on record: EU climate change service Copernicus publishes climate report 2023 | DW News

WorldWide Events – Episode 58 – The Middle East…

World’s largest iceberg on the move after dislodging from ocean floor

What is Going on in Mecca, Yemen and Oman?

Amazon River falls to lowest level in over a century amid severe drought • FRANCE 24 English

Catastrophic Floods Hit Nations Around the World, Can This Natural Disaster Impact You?

Climate Change And Drought Forcing Hard Choices Across California

Strongest earthquake in 2024! Tsunami waves hit the coast of Japan!

Scorching summer heat waves break global records in 2023, meteorologists say

Now in Cuba! Hailstorms and floods devastated the capital Havana

‘There is no future’ Iraq’s rivers are drying up

WorldWide Events – Episode 56 – Algeria, France, Spain

Was This Really a 1 in 700,000,000,000 Year Event?! – Antarctic sea ice melting fast

Prius swept away by floodwaters in Flagstaff

Terrifying California Blizzard: Hundreds Stranded on Donner Pass

This is only a sampling. There are thousands of videos like these on social media. Videos that support the notion that climate instability is a direct outcome of climate change, driven by the increase in greenhouse gases from human activities.

Of course, videos are not definitive proof of climate change. Videos won’t change the minds of people who doubt climate models, or those who say it’s all just the Earth’s natural climate variability. Videos won’t convince people who question the reliability of temperature records and other climate data, suggesting manipulation or inaccuracies. Videos won’t stop people from believing in conspiracy theories based on political or economic motives. Videos won’t persuade those who think costs outweigh the benefits of action against climate change. Nor will videos change the minds of those who say the science is not definitive.

Personally, I can’t see the downside of transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. It’s a smart move, even if catastrophic climate change never happens. We have the technology to wean away from fossil fuels. All we need now is the will to act.


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