As I watched the Masters Golf Tournament earlier this month, I noticed something missing from the familiar scenery at Augusta National--the colorful azaleas that usher in springtime in the South. Throughout the nation, we experienced an unusually warm March. Over 15,000 temperature records were set. And the azaleas in central Georgia peaked long before Bubba Watson hit his first tee shot at the PGA's first major of the year.
If early azaleas were the only thing to worry about, it wouldn't matter, but they're just the latest canary in the coal mine warning us that something is terribly amiss with the Earth's climate. As Earth Day arrives, our planet has a message for us: Stop burning things that turn up the global thermostat on the world human civilization has come to rely on. Recently the International Energy Agency and the United Nations IPCC issued new reports, adding to the many professional organizations that have warned of increasingly severe and destructive weather events if we persist with business as usual
Fortunately we don't have to continue down the path of fossil fuel use, with it's additional risks from air pollution, damaging oils spills, and dependence on foreign sources. We can have a strong economy and fulfilling lifestyles while we transition to clean energy. We have the technical ability; what we lack is the political will.
I can live without azaleas at the Masters. The question is whether our grandchildren can live with the planet we leave behind.
Citizens Climate Lobby