We are living through the most precarious time in human history, and some people simply refuse to believe the evidence that the climate crisis is a reality.

Believe it or not, climate change is here. This summer you can see it, smell it, feel it, even taste it.

Here in Indiana, hazy air from distant Canadian wildfires has left Hoosiers wheezing, coughing and staying indoors, spoiling summer days over portions of the past several weeks. In the northeast, record flooding has wrought death and destruction. And in the southwest, temperatures have soared off the charts, surpassing 110 degrees for 19 straight days in Phoenix.

While the United States, like the rest of the world, has experienced severe weather episodes throughout its history, scientists attribute the upward trend in incidence of wildfires, flooding and heat this summer and over the past decade directly to climate change caused by man, most notably through the burning of fossil fuels.

The climate is becoming less stable, leading to more, longer-lasting and wider-spread natural disasters.

Take the Canadian wildfires. (Please take them!) Given the dry air and abundant trees of the vast country to our north, it’s not unusual for forest fires to claim Canadian wilderness each summer. But this is different. So far this year, more that 27 million acres have been scorched in Canada, overrunning the past record, set in 1995, by more than 9 million acres. Already, nearly 4,500 wildfires have been counted and, as of July 19, more than 800 were still actively burning.

For Hoosiers, this signals more bad news — we likely haven’t seen the end of 2023’s hazy summer days. Beyond wildfires, floods and heatwaves, climate change is manifesting other changes dramatically affecting Americans.

Here’s one example: In California, near record snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, abetted by heavy rainfalls in the spring, has brought back to life Tulare Lake, which dates to the Ice Age. Over the past few months, Tulare has steadily reemerged to overrun 168 square miles of some of the nation’s most valuable farm country.

It’s an economic and ecological disaster. The waters are polluted by chemicals, manure and diesel fuel. Under the surface, buildings rot and abandoned cars rust. Farmers who work the land for a living are ruined.

Tulare has no natural outlet. It’s expected to be an unwanted guest for a long, long time.

Despite record wildfires, unprecedented flooding, searing heat – and the reappearance of an Ice Age lake – many Americans are still skeptical about what is happening.

Findings of a recent survey, show that less than half (49%) believe that human activity causes climate change. Nearly 1 in 10 believe climate change isn’t happening at all, according to the poll conducted and published in May by IPSOS, a multinational research and consulting firm.

But climate change clearly is happening. Just walk outside the next time smoke from Canadian wildfires wafts across the Hoosier state. If you won’t heed science, perhaps you’ll believe your own itchy, watering eyes.

Original source: https://www.heraldbulletin.com