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Editorial: Learning from Florence

September 26, 2018

The Midwest is Mother Nature’s favorite child, an unlikely occurrence for the child who falls in the middle.

 

Think about it.

 

Here in Toledo, it’s not unbearably hot, save for a few sauna-like occurrences in the waning days of July.

 

It’s not bitterly cold unless we’re trapped in the Polar Vortex.

 

We rarely experience earthquakes, tornadoes or floods, and the only coasts we’re near are those of the Great Lakes, which aren’t nearly large or hot enough to charge up a hurricane.

We’ve got it pretty good in the middle.

 

Unfortunately, some other states in the U.S. do not have such luck.

 

Hurricane Florence made headlines recently as it neared and eventually made landfall in the Carolinas. The storm devastated homes and businesses and spurred widespread flooding.

 

According to USA Today, Florence has so far claimed an estimated 43 lives and caused damage in the range of $50 billion.

 

Last year, the United States and Puerto Rico were pummeled by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

Climate scientists have attributed the growing intensity of recent storms to concerning changes in global climate.

 

Research by the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, suggests that Atlantic storm conditions will only worsen if trends in global warming continue on the same path.

 

The GFDL predicts that storm surges will very likely rise higher, tropical cyclone rainfall rates and intensities will likely increase and the proportion of storms being classified as Category 4 or 5 will likely inflate.

 

That does not bode well for coast dwellers.

 

So, what can we do?

 

In the short term, we can ramp up our humanitarian efforts. Just because we’re relatively unaffected in Toledo doesn’t mean we shouldn’t assist those caught in the hurricane crosshairs.

 

If you can, donate to a charitable organization. The American Red Cross, Salvation Army and United Way are nationally recognized charities that provide relief to those affected, but there are also local organizations in the Carolinas accepting aid as well.

 

Additionally, many animal shelters and humane societies need assistance to care for the pets and animals displaced by the storm. Find a cause that’s close to your heart and give what you can.

 

Or, give from your heart. Blood donations are also always in demand, especially when disaster strikes. Consider contributing a pint or two to those who desperately need it.

 

Projecting forward, we have to be more conscious about how we treat the Earth. Treat others as you wanted to be treated, right?

 

We’ve only got one planet to live on, so we have to make the most of it.

 

While small, personal changes don’t have the same sweeping impact as regulatory government legislation does, every little bit helps.

 

Make whatever changes you can to reduce your carbon footprint and affect our planet for the better.

 

Mother Nature would be proud.

 

 

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