Letter: Something Is Clearly Wrong

To the Editor:

Rain. Sleet. Snow. Heat. There have always been unusual weather patterns and freak storms, but nowadays, the planet is shaken with a 100-year storm every season. Droughts or tornadoes, you name it, the “worst one since the ’30s” happens on a regular basis. These anomalies are not just happening in some far off place of the imagination; they are happening right here in the Upper Valley. Even though I am a teenager, I can recall a time when the weather extremes were nowhere near as severe as they are now. Before, the leaves changed colors in the autumn. The first snow fell around the holidays and would stay until March, with perhaps an occasional thaw in January. Everything would be muddy for a few weeks, the temperature would rise, and the leaves would make the world green again.

Nothing is the same anymore. The ground last winter was bare as often as it was covered. Every early-week snowstorm would melt by the end of the week. And when “winter” was supposed to be over, snow fell in late May. A single week later, it was in the 90s. This summer, it rained for three weeks straight, and when the skies finally cleared up, it became about as hot and muggy as the inside of a sauna.

Something is wrong. This is not a natural transformation. Planet Earth has been around for billions of years and every change that has occurred without the help of an asteroid has taken a very long time. The changes now are happening more rapidly than anything else in natural history. I do not believe this unusual weather is natural; I believe it is because of us. Our factories, our pollution and our neglect are the cause of change. We have the responsibility to clean up our mess and to lend a hand back to Mother Nature. The Upper Valley does a lot better than most in being environmentally friendly, but it is not enough. We need to get to other places to see the reality. It is time for change.

Parker Densmore