On Nature: Why I Care

I have been asked why I care about climate change when I am not directly affected. I continue my retired lifestyle, visit my grandchildren, and enjoy nature. I am too old to be affected by future predictions. I care because my neighbors, the residents of Earth, and Earth itself are being affected.

According to a recent article in the journal “BioScience,” the United States is being affected by increases in extreme weather events, area burned by wildfires, and the costs associated with weather events including lowered crop yields. There also have been increases in global surface temperature, ocean heat content, ocean acidity, and sea level. There have been measured declines in summer Arctic sea ice, the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, and glacier thickness worldwide. These disruptions are happening now, not in the future.

That brings me to another reason why I care. As a person of faith, I believe that we have been given a mandate by God to care for His good creation. Since Earth is being impacted by man’s activities, primarily the emission of carbon dioxide, we have the responsibility to correct the existing situation and lessen future climatic disruptions by reducing our use of carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

David Voigts is a retired ecologist and the current Conservation Chair for the Prairie Rapids Audubon Society. He is a Tama County native, graduating from Dinsdale High School, and lives in rural Jesup on his wife’s family farm.