Opinion: Are we afraid to talk about climate change? | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Are we afraid to talk about climate change?

As I sit on the Diamond Peak chairlift staring down at dirt, hike to the top of Tunnel Creek in a T-shirt, and see temperatures forecast in the 50s for Lake Tahoe this week, I am feeling more and more anxious.

I silently say it to myself: climate change. I whisper it under my breath: climate change. I sheepishly, quietly say it to my friends: climate change — and then just as quickly move on to the next topic.

Why am I avoiding talking about climate change? Why am I making excuses and telling stories like La Nina, El Nino, high-pressure systems and low-pressure systems.

I know what scientists have warned as the climate destabilizes: increasingly warm winters, drought, significant lack of precipitation.

The extremes of a geographical area will become the new norm (worse drought in the West, stronger hurricanes in the Gulf, flooding in coastal areas).

So why am I avoiding talking about climate change? In my brain’s simplest deduction: It’s scary, it’s big, and I am afraid to accept that it is real.

But unless I get real about climate change — unless we all get real about it — the problem will only worsen. It is time for honesty, communication and truth. And action.

I hope for an epic February. I hope for feet of powder in March. And while I continue to wax my skis and hope, I also need to get honest about what is really going on.

Amy Guinan

Incline Village

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