I am a scientist by training, traveler by choice. Throughout my life, I have always tried to continue learning and experiencing new things.
The topics and hobbies which I have found most interesting have always related somehow to the earth and usually end up teaching me much about our planet. I marvel at how living things interact to create the glorious world which I have had the pleasure to behold. So why Thefacesofclimatechange?
A few years back I tried reading the climate change literature to see if I could make sense of the science. Scientists write in their own language and even though I earned a doctorate in Biochemisty, the reading was difficult to understand and frankly a bit boring. I see the consequences of a changing climate occurring in places I have visited around the globe. Vast stretches of evergreen forests in the mountains of Colorado standing dead, strangely quiet, not a bird to be heard. The trees victims of native pine beetles. Winters are no longer cold enough to kill the beetles, and the bird’s habitat has been dramatically altered. I have seen tropical fish in cold water places. The lobster along the east coast of the United States are moving farther north as the ocean warms. On the nearby land, species of ticks are showing up that were previous observed in warmer climates farther to the south. It is clear changes are happening at a rate visible to me in 40 or so years I’ve been aware on the earth. Such a short period of time when one considers how long it has taken for these plants and animals to evolve to exist in these niches.
I realize that the earth is going through a natural warming cycle but the rate at which it is warming is unprecedented and the generation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases seems to be accelerating the rate of change. Yawn right. We have heard it for years. No exciting news flash there. What is exciting is that young people, historically the champions of social change are aware.
I must admit that I find the difficult path climate activist Greta Thunberg has chosen as inspirational. If a 16-year-old can try to make a difference then why not me, but how? Clearly the voices of the scientists are not being heard by policy makers, but that is not surprising. People readily celebrate and incorporate the gadgets science creates into their lives, but there is a long history of skepticism of scientist’s words.
People do seem to listen to other people. It is part of who we are as humans, roots from a life in tribes. While we might not believe what other individuals say, most people seem to like hearing their stories. With this is mind, as I wander through the latter part of my life, I am choosing to be a seeker of stories and an explorer of places. My intent is to share the stories of those willing to tell them with any who will listen.
– Matt Ryle