Maybe people are not too worried about climate change yet because a warmer world sounds great in the midst of a New England or Midwest winter. I recently came across a study by the Pew Institute that found most people prefer living in a place with a warmer climate. Hence all those retired snow birds who migrate down to Florida for the winter from the northern ranges of our country.
Save one winter I spent in England (the original) I’ve suffered through New England winters every year of my 40+ years, relishing the random 50°F days here and there but mostly complaining about the cold, and the snow, and, this year especially, the freezing rain. I hate winter but I will grudgingly admit that it makes summer all that sweeter. Plus winter provides tourism jobs year-round in rural areas with ski resorts and winter provides just the right conditions for maple syrup. What would pancakes be without maple syrup? You think about that.
I think many of us can agree that the majority of people in this country spend little time thinking about climate change let alone taking actions to reduce their greenhouse gas contributions. So my question is, when Southern Florida is gone because of sea level rise, where will everyone retire to? Will Massachusetts be the new Florida? My father jokes about having beachfront property on Cape Cod in a few decades (they live more than a few miles uphill from the beach). He might be off by a century or so, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
A warmer world has lots of consequences. I’d prefer my winters to stay freezing if it means that our economy will not collapse, millions of people will not be displaced by sea level rise, and maple syrup can still be made in New England. Trade-offs.
Oh, if maple syrup is something you can live without, contemplate a world without chocolate, coffee, or avocados. Are you worried now? Here is a place to start for ways to reduce your personal greenhouse gas contributions.