It’s Too Early
This is not a fun post, but I hope it is one worth thinking about. Here it is February, and our trees are budding, grass is growing, our bees are out dangerously early, and, yes, mosquitos are returning. For those of us who have lived in the region a while – we know this is way, way too early. I remember wearing light sweaters in May in the 1990s (of course, I was a rail then, not now). Now it is predicted that the cherry blossoms this year will peak 10 days earlier than calculated based on the past 30 year average, whereas the 30-year average already peaks 7 days earlier than last century. https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/cherry-blossoms.
It does not bode well for us during the summer. Thirty years ago, there were 6 days/year of 95 deg weather, on average for Petworth; For this decade it is estimated there will be 18. With climate change, by 2040, there will be 24 days/year of 95+ degrees. After that, the models (by NOAA and universities) will diverge by high and low emission scenarios, and you don’t even want to know what the average number of 95+ deg days are. Nevermind the days of 105+ degrees, of which right now, we have essentially none. https://crt-climate-explorer.nemac.org/climate_graphs/?city=Washington%2C+DC&county=Washington%2BCounty&area-id=11001&fips=11001&zoom=7&lat=38.9502497&lon=-77.01614359999999&id=days_tmax_gt_95f.
Climate Change is not just a sea-level rise, hurricane, wildfire, or human migration issue – it is locally a heat, invasive species, infectious disease issue, and it will affect our poor, elderly, and those who have to work outdoors (e.g., construction workers).
So, we have to work to change what we (especially industry and the super-rich) have done. We do have capabilities in that area, and DC is doing remarkable well in leading the way – with the free buses, and support of green roofs, and solar, and clean energy choices. Learn more about opportunities at https://sustainable.dc.gov/page/go-green, and https://doee.dc.gov/service/climate-change. We as individuals can ask for more, https://opc-dc.gov/legal/climate/, and lead with more. Installing heat pumps using the rebates from the infrastructure bill, for instance. (still waiting for that info!)
To help, I recommend checking out these organizations: Sierra Club – DC Chapter, https://www.sierraclub.org/dc, and of course, Green Neighbors DC, and so many more: Environmental Justice Groups: https://greenneighborsdc.org/2021/04/23/environmental-justice-groups-in-dc/, and Youth groups…https://greenneighborsdc.org/2021/04/23/youth-environmental-organizations-in-the-district/.
In terms of beneficial and ngo companies: Sustainable-You (a company, partner of GNDC) – https://sustainable-you.org/. Solar United for Neighborhoods. https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/… So many more
And THIS SUNDAY, 6 – 7 pm, Green Neighbors DC will host Laura Pimentel of the Department of Energy and Environment, who will give an overview of DC’s program Solar For All, which provides opportunities for low-income households to acquire solar. Send us an email at email@example.com for more information.
Rally for not ‘the’ environment, but for ‘our’ environment.
Annette Olson (Ph.D.)
Lead GNDC, President Climate Steps, etc..
One thought on “It’s Too Early”
So true. Some climate impacts may be “pleasant” but they beckon our need for action!