MARQUETTE, Mich. — Flooding devastation, erosion decimating the shoreline, wildfires, more frequent and harsher storms – and everyone wondering why no one warned them. Climatologists, environmentalists, and [some but not enough] policymakers are warning us. Our infrastructure isn’t built for what’s coming.

Are we ready for the effects of Climate Change? The short answer to this question is as resounding ‘No.’ For two years, I’ve been an outspoken advocate for the City of Marquette signing the Paris Accord Agreements []. Trump withdrew. Our mayor rejected it. This is a city issue. I support climatologists and environmental groups who say we need to mitigate, prepare, and adapt.

I support the City of Marquette signing the Paris Accord agreement and a city-specific Environmental Bill of Rights.

Read my article in NMU’s North Wind.

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Panic ensues as bars close & vodka freezes, Real emergency: Climate Change

The Midwest will plummet to temperatures where vodka freezes. Bars are closing! If this isn’t a state of emergency, how much worse can it get for Yoopers? . . . Worse, much worse. I’m tired of being so damn cold. I’m more tired of cities doing nothing about Climate Change, or dismissing its existence because it’s cold outside.

MARQUETTE, Mich. — The mentality of doing nothing about Climate Change — or one particular city being too small to make an impact — has left cities like Marquette, and subsequently humanity, complacent as the greatest threat to human existence literally hovers over head.

There are a whole slew of environmental initiatives for which we champion, things to be done both locally and globally. As we feel this storm rock the Midwest — a Polar Vortex pushing south plummeting us into double digit below zero temperatures — we can’t help but see the Upper Peninsula’s way of life is seriously affected by Climate Change.

How can the earth be warming, but we’re so cold? It’s a question with which politicians in Washington sometimes struggle when tweeting brash, humorous, obtuse reactions to weather, but it’s something climatologists understand backed by decades of research and data. Most could explain to a child we simultaneously have a warming globe and extreme cold weather. Climate and weather are different.

Many go further and say Climate Change is causing more extreme and more frequent occurrences of the Polar Vortex pushing south. The two vortexes have existed long before climatologists named them in the late 1880s, but experts are predicting their intrusion toward the equator is becoming more intense and more frequent because of a warming globe. How?

Evidence suggests jet stream, a meandering air current, is slowing down and waving as the planet warms. The stream meets the polar vortex, and sends it south.

Two fold, scientists also say as the ice retreats from the North Pole, heat is absorbed by the dark ocean that lies underneath. This heat is released into the atmosphere during winter, spurring winds that can disrupt the polar vortex.

Air that normally resides year-round over the poles, known as the Polar Vortex, is pushed south because the melting ice cap creates more moisture in the atmosphere. More moisture in the atmosphere causes extreme weather and frigid temperatures in otherwise habitable areas.

“Habitable.” Ishpeming was -20 degrees over the weekend. Marquette will drop to -15 degrees with windchill today. According to Vox , “Fargo, North Dakota, for example, is expected to hit an overnight low of minus 33 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday. At that temperature, vodka freezes solid. The daytime high is forecast to be a frigid -18°F. Chicago, which is home to 2.7 million people, might hit a low of -22°F on Wednesday as well.

The windchill — a measure of frostbite risk that combines wind speed and air temperature — is expected to drop even lower across the region, into the negative 60s. At that windchill, frostbite sets in on exposed skin in just five minutes. It’s a dangerous situation; cold temperatures can be deadly.”

-56 below! Vodka freezes! This is deeply concerning. In 2017, Marquette had the opportunity to do more than champion global efforts against Climate Change. We could have lead the way, and been a story of change from which other municipalities could take example. Over 600 people signed a petition for Marquette to join the Paris Accord and symbolically gesture that global warming is a real threat to our existence.

It was best-put by Marquette resident, Keith Glendon, creator of the online petition, who said, “We call for our community leaders to advocate for, support and demand recognition of the vital need for change and evolution in our community, business and national policies and practices toward sustainability and climate action.

We believe that the future of our great city, our region, our nation and our world depends on the unified recognition of scientific evidence regarding humanity’s impact on our climate and our environment. We believe that change starts right here, at home, at the community level. We believe that our community has a moral obligation to it’s children and to the world to stand up at this time with a statement of support and to resolve to enact policy consistent with that obligation henceforth.”

You say you love your children above all else, yet you are stealing their futures right before their very eyes.” This 15-year-old activist just called out world leaders for their global inaction on climate change.

Posted by Andrew Lorinser on Sunday, December 16, 2018

Local municipalities, however small and isolated we may be, have a responsibility to do better on climate initiatives. In 2017 and today, for the future of our superior way of life, I support Marquette making achievable commitments by setting goals to reduce our local carbon footprint. Government has a role in offering citizens an impactful example of how to live more sustainably.

Joining the Paris Accord, an initiative admittedly from its birth was largely symbolic, was dismissed by then-Mayor Dave Campana as an attempt to get involved in a divisive national political debate. Nothing happened. A few planned local progressions moved forward; a DDA grant for electric car plugins, a small solar farm, but nothing of great impact.

We need to do better. We need to go further. We need to be proactive, especially in mitigating the damage Climate Change has done to our shoreline. We need to change. We need to be better stewards of our home, or it will be swept out from underneath us.

Human influenced Global Warming or Climate Change wreaks havoc on U.P. economies, infrastructure, and wildlife. It is the single greatest threat to our civilization. A solution is urgent, and we need to do our part.

5 Ways U.S. Cities Can Fight Climate Change Without the Paris Accord

According to CityLab

  • Build Housing Near Transit
  • Create Transit Options People Like
  • Make Buildings More Energy Efficient
  • Rethink Driving
  • Invest in Renewables and Electric Cars

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord doesn’t mean the country has to give up fighting climate change. Here’s how cities can make a difference.

Posted by CityLab on Thursday, June 1, 2017

I’m inspired by a teen climate activist from Sweden. Greta Thunberg is a 15-year-old with Asperger’s on strike from school until Sweden signs the Paris Agreement. She told the UN last week they were immature. “We have not come here to beg world leaders to care. You have ignored us in the past and you will ignore us again… We have come here to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

Posted by Andrew Lorinser on Monday, December 17, 2018