Spreading Awareness About Climate Chaos

What happened to the seasons?

I enjoy walking and biking the streets of Claremont, California, my hometown since 2008. On Christmas day, 2022, the streets were exceptionally quiet. With a temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and a refreshing breeze, I was in heavens. My bike sliced through that delightful combination of heat and modestly cold air.

This dream bike ride remained a pleasure for its duration. Yet reality intervened. Nature was in trouble. This was the heart of winter, December 25, 2022. Shouldn’t winter be winter? What happened to cold, nay snow or rain? My white roses were out in their summer best, their aroma delicious. My fig tree, having failed to give me any of its divine figs, was now starting new leaves. My pumpkin seeds had become an interlocking network of connecting stems and green leaves in the shape of spheres. Soon, I noticed tiny fruit being formed with exuberant pink blossoms.

These tiny and, for many people, insignificant changes were signs of deep uneasiness in the natural world, not knowing the seasons anymore.

The atmosphere (sphere of steam) embraces the Earth like the sky does. Humans may be one of millions of species, with a difference. Armed with learning, knowledge how the world works, and with a tremendous variety of weapons, have been slowly changing the atmosphere and the sunlight reaching the planet.

The result of this human intrusion into things left for the gods is rising temperatures, which are changing the seasons and societies in a bad way. We call this climate change.

We know the solution is to stop burning fossil fuels while replacing them with solar panels, wind energy and other forms of green energy. But to even start thinking about this new green way, we need to understand that the burning of fossil fuels (business as usual) has been threatening us with severe punishment, even death.

Climate change facts

The facts are out there. One of the fossil fuel gases warming the planet is carbon dioxide. For millennia before the industrial revolution of mid-nineteenth century, there were about 300 parts per million in the atmosphere. Now, in 2022, there are 420 parts per million in the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels caused this anthropogenic impact.

More facts about the reality of climate change come from the increasing number of vast fires in the forests. Californians are well aware of this deadly fact. Trouble in the atmosphere also comes down  in heavy rains and flooding, no rains and draughts, storms and devastating tornadoes, fierce winds, the sudden reversal of seasonal expectations, the melting of the ice in the Arctic, less drinking water, heat waves on land and sea and other calamities.

I have spent part of my life studying the effects of misdirected and selfish human actions altering the giant of climate. I try raising public awareness about those dangerous actions by writing.

I also put solar panels on the roof of my house and purchased a used electric car.

Seeing the truth

The other door of awareness opens with walking and biking. This helps me see the beauty of nature, and human ignorance and carelessness. I keep staring at so much roof space, which could have easily been put to work producing clean electricity from our Sun. So, the philosophical and political question is, why is it not?

The owners of those buildings with the inviting roofs are people of means. They own large homes. They are bishops, preachers, college presidents and administrators, lawyers, doctors, and Claremont city officials and politicians. These are the people who need to embrace solar panels in order to lift Claremont out of its deplorable passivity.

Can Claremont embrace solar panels?

I have written extensively why all of us must strive to live lives of virtue, inspiring our neighbors and other to become political to save themselves and this irreplaceable and beautiful planet. I also spoke why solar panels define us and our civilizations. My focus was Claremont if Claremont could become a model for fighting the climate dragon. The implications are for all towns, California, America, and the world.

Here’s the podcast.  

Evaggelos Vallianatos is a historian and environmental strategist, who worked at the US Environmental Protection Agency for 25 years. He is the author of seven books, including the latest book, The Antikythera Mechanism.