The temperature decline this week is going to trigger the climate deniers’ Pavlovian commentary about a cold snap being evidence that the world isn’t warming. No doubt the leader of the denial movement will seize the opportunity to tweet yet another proudly ignorant and dangerous message to the faithful about the alleged hoax of climate change. Don’t think that the messaging is limited to presidential tweets; there are elected officials here on Cape Cod who promote the same misleading anti-science message.
I attended a recent series of climate change workshops put on by the Cape Cod Commission. The Commission held four meetings across the Cape this fall to engage the public in defining the goals and objectives for the region in important areas of response to climate change. These sessions helped with the good work the Commission is doing to build upon the Regional Policy Plan and define what needs to happen next and at what levels of government (a recognition that much to the response to climate change needs to happen at the municipal, state and federal levels). While these sessions attracted good and concerned residents from across the Cape, the most notable comments to me where those made by an elected member of the County Assembly of Delegates who flatly referred to climate change as “ a hoax” and that we needed more, not fewer, barriers to take action to address the problem. While not new views expressed by this elected official, they were a stark reminder that we have work to do locally in the elections at the town and county level in 2020.
I’ll be repeating this cry in the year ahead; make sure you ask candidates their position on climate and water quality and vote accordingly. The politicians will walk the path that voters dictate they must follow to get elected. Voicing your environmental priorities to candidates is the way to place the environment higher on the political agenda and to attract candidates who will run on the issue. Look at the results from the recent election in Barnstable if you want proof that electoral choice matters.
And yes, it is going to be cold this week in our little part of the world, but globally, it’s hotter this year than last and the trend continues. Those are the facts.