So much to see, we see so little. It's a beautiful day outside our window. The season changes, the colors change, we experience glorious fall days that confirm the joys and marvels of Iowa.
Today is a few degrees warmer (or cooler) than the same day a year ago. This is what we expect and accept as normal. The climate isn't really changing, is it?
We live in an age of instant information. We have access to the current weather conditions and temperatures in Los Angeles, London, Mumbai or Beijing with a few clicks on our mobile device.
We know so much and see so little.
Global temperature records have been kept since 1880. 2014 was the hottest year ever experienced.
Then 2015 was hotter.
2016 is on track to set another record - July and August 2016 were the hottest months ever recorded.
How hot was it? The first six months of 2016 were 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average in 1880.
That doesn't seem like a big deal. That is the difference between an afternoon high of 74 or 76 degrees, barely noticeable and something we are not likely to regard as significant.
However, fluctuations in the average global temperature are probably more akin to our internal body temperature than what we feel on our skin.
If we have a body temperature of 101 degrees (2.4 above normal), we take notice and probably are not feeling too well. If we double this temperature rise to 103 or 104 degrees, our condition is much more severe, even life threatening.
So it is with the earth. The temperature continues to rise. What we were previously able to ignore, increasingly impacts the entire environment we live in.
We gradually come to recognize that we are sick and something must be done.
When our body develops a fever, we normally consult with a medical specialist, take a pill, and get some rest. Conditions usually improve and a few days later our body has healed and we are back to normal.