The Local Consequences of Global Climate Change

The dog days of summer are here. And hell is breaking loose.

Here are just two local examples of Global Climate Change is affecting our region. Please feel free to comment and post more examples!

Due to their inability to adequately control the internal temperatures in the store, and the fact that their coolers and displays were not manufactured to handle these conditions, the Dalton Walmart had to stop selling produce, milk, and meat in order to guarantee that they maintain Health Department standards:

Produce covered at the Dalton Walmart
Milk at Dalton Walmart
Meat removed from shelves at Dalton Walmart
This is just the food consumption site. Imagine how these temperatures are likewise affecting production and distribution.

In another example of unintended and unexpected consequences, the Chattanooga Center for Non-profits will not be accepting your emails this week. Why? Because the temperatures got so high in their building that the sprinkler system went off and destroyed their computer systems.

The World Meteorological Organization has been keeping data on global temperatures since 1850. Nine of the ten hottest years on record occurred between 2001 and 2010, with the 2010 being the hottest on record. 2011 was the 11th hottest on record. You can see the WMO data HERE.

As record breaking heat descended upon us over the weekend, the Chattanooga Times Free Press wrote an article quoting Gregory Vickrey, Director of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, stating that:
"Based on the various models we have in hand, we know this area is expected to heat up actually more than the entire globe is," said Gregory Vickrey, director of the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy. "If the average ambient temperature of the globe is going to be a minimum of 2 degrees Celsius higher, we're going to face 2.8 degrees Celsius higher here -- just in East Tennessee."
That's just over 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
As global temperatures increase, the Chattanooga region is expected to become increasingly impacted by the highly destructive consequences of our collective inability to cope with the rising carbon emissions produced by corporate capitalism: tornadoes, droughts, and wildfires. I personally do not think that the elected bodies of Chattanooga have even begun to seriously consider what the projected long term toll will be to our people, infrastructure, and economy as a result of what we know is coming down the line - much less how all the small, unexpected consequences, like setting off sprinkler systems, will begin to affect our viability as a community in the long term.

Have you asked your City Council or County Commission representative what studies are being conducted and what plans are being made to actually begin to cope with global climate change?

UPDATE 7.3.2012: The Chattanooga Times Free Press has reported on the United Way's sprinkler situation, saying that temperatures inside the building actually rose to 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Hope they had insurance.