It’s December 13th and it has been consistently over freezing the last few weeks here in Minnesota.  I’d say it’s a nice surprise but after the last decade it doesn’t really seem so.  My memory is not nearly as good as it used to be, but it seems that as of the last decade or so it’s just as likely to not have any snow on the ground as it is to have it.

Climate change is a very real and important threat in our lives.  I don’t know that the improved December weather is a direct effect of that–I’m not scientist–but the weather patterns have definitely seemed different than my early years.  If you want to see some scientific evidence of climate change, go here to NASA’s Climate Change page.  It’s frightening to consider how big of a deal this is.  We only have one planet, the idea that we are willing to let the environments within it be significantly altered to the point of no return without consideration for future generations is mind boggling.  How can we stand by in the name of economic progress?  Most arguments against climate change and advocacy seem to stem from economic issues.  Here’s a few screen shots from NASA, the first a picture of our ice cap in 1979 when their satellite started capturing imagery:

1979
Second is a picture from 2014.  The difference is incredible.

2014

Recently a new agreement at the COP 21 was signed into effect.   Only time will tell if the agreement will be significant enough to stem the tide of increasing temperatures on Earth.  I truly believe we can solve this problem, but we’re in a bind–the ideals of capitalism and the environment don’t naturally work together.  Burning fossil fuels and using natural resources for furthering economic prosperity was having a detrimental effect the entire time we were doing it, but at a scale that we only recently began to understand more completely.

The good news is that capitalism and economic prosperity aren’t tied to burning fossil fuels.  There are alternate forms of energy that can be used and there are other ways to design and manufacture things that are not a detriment to the Earth.

This year I began working for a new organization here in Minneapolis that designs and builds solar power plants.  It feels incredible to be part of the solution to this huge issue.   I’m excited about the prospects that the COP 21 agreement are bringing up, I’ll be diving into the final details of it in the next two weeks.  We owe it to the kids and the next generation of kids to do everything we can here and now.