My head is out of the sand

Published 11:30 am Friday, July 27, 2012

I have never considered myself the smartest guy I know. At the same time I had never really thought of myself as the dumbest man alive. However, as I take a closer look at the issue of global warming I have decided that I am in fact the stupidest person on the planet.

I have had my head in the sand for so long. Global warming is a huge issue and quite frankly it seemed too large for me to get my head around…so I didn’t. I found it much easier to not think about it and to pretend it wasn’t happening than to accept responsibility for my role in it. That would force me to make some changes to the daily routine that is my life. Nobody likes change.

Accepting global warming as fact also forces me to accept some terrifying truths about our future. As the father of a nine month old son I have a hard time considering that the world as we have known it will probably not be his reality.

According to a CBS report, May 2011 – April 2012 is the warmest 12-month period since 1895 when the United States started keeping records. That makes it the hottest year we have ever known.

According to CNN, the US set 1,800 record high temperatures in one week this summer.

Freakish weather events have become the norm. Tsunamis, hurricanes and tornados have all become more common and more powerful. Now we have two billion dollar hailstorms in June and storm systems called derechos.

Derechos are windstorms that cause hurricane like damage like the one that hit July in the Ohio Valley region and traveled through Maryland and Virginia. Imagine hurricanes that need no water to form and don’t offer four or more days of warning. The one mentioned above knocked out power to two million more homes than Hurricane Katrina.

Don’t even get me started on the wild fires that have devastated Colorado.

These are just a few of the most recent signs that global warming is not only real but that we are beginning to see the harsh effects of it. What scares the crud out of me is that all signs point to the fact that this truly is only the beginning.

I am not sure what the answer to global warming is, but I know there are people way smarter than me that do. What I plan to do is to get my head out of the sand and start listening to them. Ignorance may be bliss, but at some point it is irresponsible and it has reached that point for all of us.


David Friedman is a long-time contributor to Roanoke-Chowan Publications. A Bertie High School graduate, he and his wife currently reside in Wilmington. David can be reached via e-mail at