There were several historic events that took place in 2013, from the birth of a new royal, to the launch of ObamaCare, and so on. However, what most year in review articles won't be mentioning is that 2013 was the year that we seem to have admitted defeat in the fight to stop global climate change.
Slowly, over the course of the year I came to hear expert after expert giving speeches, and interviews, involving how we now need to shift toward fixing, or working around, the climate crisis rather than stopping it. Even Al Gore began talking about the need to adapt in his book "The Future."
(Climate topics even found their way into the tweets of several people this year, including some celebrities)
"Massive dust storm called a Haboob blew into Phoenix as we were landing, pretty scary. Now we're in Tucson to wait it out. #Bloodwolves" tweeted by Wil Wheaton @wilw 30 Jun
This year we saw climate related catastrophes in several sites around the world, including the Colorado mountains and the Southwest. The year is now wrapping up in a series of wild weather patterns seen around the nation, which only serves to prove that the concept of normal (aka expected) weather may be a thing of the past.
"70F New York City 3 days before Christmas. As @Glinner would say; I'm sure it's nothing to worry about. http://ow.ly/i/46orL" tweeted by Jason O'Mara @jason_omara 22 Dec
(FYI: this at a time that it was 80F here is SoCal, and the NE and several other northern states were buried in snow and in -degree temps)
Yet despite a U.N. report stating that humans are to blame for the warming climate, there are still those who want to deny that things are changing. Perhaps that is why we as a species have failed to prevent the problem from escalating, despite having most of the technological capacity to do so. Is seems that it's still the collective will that we lack.
"About 4,500 homes and businesses lost electricity over the weekend after more than a foot of snow fell in Maine. http://wj.la/JEUdvf" tweeted by ABC7News @ABC7News 30 Dec
What can we look forward to in 2014 then? Probably more of what we saw this year, but at this point who knows. What we can be sure of is that the problem will only escalate further if we sit by and continue to not take substantial steps to minimize the damage. Those of us who have already tried to green up our lives need to take it up a notch however we can. To those of you who have not, time to get on board, there are no longer any excuses. 2014 may not see us stop climate change, but for the sake of ours, and every other species currently on the planet, it better see us succeed in our attempts to deal with the problem far better than we have in the past. Since we've already failed to prevent it, we must not fail in our attempts to slow it, and with any luck in our eventual attempts to reverse it as best we can. Therefore, let the ringing in of 2014 serve as a call to arms, it is time to save the planet!