The need to employ science with urgency

As I sat trapped in my house during an unprecedented Arctic freeze, I hoped my power wouldn’t fail.

I jumped each time an ice-laden branch from my heritage oaks fell onto my roof or in my eerily frozen yard. I worried about my wife driving home from her commute on slick roads in an ice storm. I watched as my resident wild birds– with no choice but to endure during this extreme cold–clustered around my feeders, dependent upon my refilling them.

And I wondered whether a nationally renewed validation of science can help facilitate an understanding how arctic warming actually sends polar weather to Texas, with potentially devastating effects. We will certainly need to employ science with a COVID-level sense of urgency if we are going to make even the slightest headway in coping with the truly existential climate crisis we are still facing.

Martin Byhower

Austin American-Statesman

February 27, 2021

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