The FEMA people were on Cape Cod today (August 5th) to provide training for emergency preparedness. A very good class. I encourage Sierra Club folks to enroll in these programs. Free. Open to all. Good opportunity to meet with emergency services workers, town planners, and others, who face the here-and-now impact of climate change. Environmentalists have the opportunity to raise environmental concerns.
At this point, I have the uneasy feeling that we’re waiting for the next hurricane Katrina or Sandy to appear. Maybe August, but, maybe, October. Maybe Texas, or, possibly, Rhode Island or Jamaica. This is what it’s like to live in the world of climate change. One difficulty follows another. The storms that were “once in a hundred years” are becoming “once in every ten years.” The impact of summer storms is greater.
Bit of irony: Some of the people who I meet in emergency preparedness classes are surprisingly conservative. Some of them may even lean towards the Tea Party. They don’t agree with the Sierra Club on a long list of topics, and they may even qualify as “climate change skeptics,” but they know that something is happening in the environment and they want to be prepared for future problems. You may ask, “How do we bring these folks into the climate change discussion?”
However: I suggest that, in some ways, they’re already involved. Think about the first responders, and the second responders, who respond to floods, hurricanes, oil spills, wildfires, etc. You’ll find emergency services teams in every region.
On August 17th, our Sierra Club group will participate in Cape Cod’s first “hurricane preparedness fair.” We’ll talk with local journalists and we’ll distribute lots of Sierra Club literature on health and safety issues. The Red Cross will collect blood for future emergencies. If you’re in the area and you would like to contribute to the Falmouth, Massachusetts, blood collection, please call the Red Cross.Telephone: 1-800-733-2767.
What’s happening in your region during “the long, hot summer”?
(submitted by Bob Murphy, who is the chairman of the Sierra Club’s Cape Cod and Islands Group. in Massachusetts.)