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Climate chaos

VICKI SMEDLEY

Jersey Shore

Disaster isn’t coming … it is here now! The American West, the Amazon rainforest, Australia … all burning. Indonesia is flooding. Arctic glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising. 2019 was the hottest year in recorded history and was a record year for rising ocean temperatures, leading to more frequent and intense hurricanes.

Insect populations are increasing. In 2018 and 2019 the mosquitos in our area were so bad it was difficult to be outdoors without using copious amounts of toxic bug sprays. The mosquitos in all 67 state counties are carrying West Nile Virus, according to a DEP. Tick populations are on the rise locally. My dog has Lyme disease and my vet thinks that within a few years all dogs in our state will have Lyme.

Also locally, record rain in the spring and many extremely hot days have been changing agriculture. Farmers have delayed planting, are seeing more pests, and crops like corn, soy, wheat are being affected by higher temperatures (not to mention the increased heat takes its toll on those who work outside). Five rainless days in a row with temperatures over 95 degrees will kill a field of corn. Higher heat and higher concentrations of carbon dioxide also mean decreased nutrition in these plants. On Jan. 11, I noticed my pussy willow bush was in bloom, two months early, and my garlic is sprouting in my garden. We harvested shitake mushrooms in December! Winter bird populations are down. Bird migration patterns are not on the right schedules.

This is all wrong!

And my forest is dying. I estimate 20-30% of our trees are either blown over (soil too wet to support the trees), broken off at the tops (wind damage/pests), or just standing dead (pests). All species are in decline.

Mother Nature is Rebelling against her children (us) and we deserve her anger. The consequences of our actions will be very hard for many to bear.

2020 is about decisions. Ask every candidate, at every level, “What is your plan for Climate Change?”. There’s nothing like the power of the people. Use your power. Choose Life, choose a Future. Vote like your life depends on it, because it does.

All of our lives do.

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