If ever there was necessary reading for all Pennsylvanians, it's the truly frightening executive summary of the report, "Climate Change Impacts and Solutions for Pennsylvania -- How today's actions shape the state's future."
Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" has nothing on this tale of a twisted tomorrow -- a tomorrow we've brought about all on our own and unless we wake up to the peril, one that may well overwhelm our children and grandchildren.
Read it for yourself at http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/Exec-Summary.
Climate-Change scenari-os described in the report by the Union of Concerned Scientists couldn't be more matter of fact: We have to change our ways now or reap the whirlwind, literally.
To summarize the summary, unless we -- and that includes the rest of the nation -- act now to lower emissions and curb their effect on the climate, we can expect, in the lifetime of today's kindergartner:
---Dramatic increases in the number of summer days over 90 degrees F, putting vulnerable populations at greater risk from heat and curtailing many outdoor activities.
---Drastic declines in milk production statewide.
---The disappearance of winter sports such as skiing, snowmobiling.
---Loss of many tree species and accompanying bird life along with a dramatic decline in fruit production.
That's just for starters. The report stresses that Pennsylvania has shown a willingness to act, moving to alternative sources of power while reducing emissions.
But in the current political climate, with denial of the threat to the climate highly politicized, we always are in danger of missing the forest for the trees.
Only in this case, unless we seize the moment and make the issue of climate change a personal challenge, we stand to lose the trees and the forest forever.