Saturday, September 18, 2010

Freak Storms the New Norm?

I hope it's not the case that freak storms, such as we experienced on Thursday evening in NYC and the suburbs will happen more frequently in the future. But that's what some scientists have been predicting, from articles I've read in the last few months. 
Earlier in the day, before the storm hit on Thursday, I was speaking with a friend,  outdoors, after a luncheon we attended had finished. I noticed the dark clouds moving in and an ominous wind picking up. I was glad I lived nearby. 
I was eating dinner when the storm began and the wind started to blow fiercely. I'm always concerned about storms, because there are large trees surrounding my house.  Fortunately, my neighborhood was spared, for the most part.  
But as we know, parts of Staten Island, Brooklyn, (Park Slope) and Queens experienced what turned out to be twin tornados and a macroburst (Middle Village, Queens). Sadly, over 1,500 trees were lost because of the storm, power outages, buildings damaged, massive traffic jams, loss of train service on Long Island, and worst of all, the death of a woman, killed by a falling tree. Her distraught husband was quoted as saying, "She was the most beautiful thing that ever happened in my life." How tragic, in an instant his wife was killed. Life is so fragile. It could have been anyone of us that evening. Some people are calling it a miracle that there was only one death, amid so much destruction. 
Tornados in New York City and the suburbs are rare, though there was one recorded in the Bronx in July. "The most recent ones from Thursday evening were the ninth and tenth tornados to hit New York since 1950."
I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but according to predictions I read,  freak weather patterns and violent storms might increase in the future. The really scary part is that the future might be upon us. What is the cause? Global warming, the increase of the Earth's temperature.  Some people don't believe in the disastrous effects global warming is having on our planet, but I do believe (with millions of others) that it's taking place and will worsen, if we don't do anything to stop it. The repercussions of destroying our atmosphere through pollution and poor care of the Earth, is already starting to affect our lives. God's beautiful creation, should be well cared for and protected and we need to teach our children that as well.
The people of Russia, who experienced a terrible drought and wildfires this summer now consider global warming a serious threat. The people of Pakistan who experienced apocalyptic flooding are wondering if global warming is the cause of their epic disaster. 
We all can do something to lessen global warming. Even small changes can make a difference. 
A change as simple as changing to energy saving lightbulbs can make an enormous difference, if everyone does it. I hope everyone begins to take global warming seriously before it's too late. According to scientists, there is a point of no return.