First, I want to say thank you to my family in England and Scotland, and to my friends in both the US and UK who contacted me asking how we’d weathered the storm here in Boston. The answer is, we are fine, but so many are not.
New Jersey, New York (especially lower Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens), Connecticut, and West Virginia took the brunt of the storm. We had some trees down in the Boston area and some loss of power, but nothing like the places mentioned above, where people lost loved ones, their homes, their possessions, their access to food, electricity, and water, and their sense of security.
My dad, a farmer’s boy from Derbyshire, a scholarship student at Cambridge University, and later professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, had long warned about the hazards of climate change.
A friend, a former reporter for the Boston Globe, emailed me this afternoon saying, “I wanted to let you know that I have been thinking about your father in the last few days, with all the talk and articles in the Globe about potential flooding and damage in Boston in coming years as a result of global warming. I remember very clearly his work and his comments about this likelihood. He was a man of so many talents and insights.”
My friend interviewed my father for an award-winning series, spent a lot of time with him, and got to know him quite well. She also read his manuscript, Living Safely, a combination memoir of his life as a farmer’s boy and research professor and a warning about global hazards due to climate change.
In his last years of life, my father became deeply concerned about the dangers posed by climate change caused by human activity, including extreme heat, storms, floods, drought, earthquakes, escalating CO2, and the rising level of the ocean.
Today happened to be the ecclesiastical celebration of All Saint’s Day in honor of those who have departed this earth, a time when I especially remember my father and what he was passionate about: trying to preserve our planet. (You can read more about him here.)
I want to leave you with this video of Mitt Romney, who has been busy lying through his teeth and mocking people, including my father, other eminent scientists, and those of us who are increasingly frightened about what climate change will mean to the ecology and preservation of the earth. (Please copy this into your browser if the link doesn’t go through–it’s pretty powerful).
To those in the US, on Tuesday please vote for our incumbent president, Barack Obama, who will continue to do his best to preserve our world and reverse, or at least slow down, climate change.
And to those overseas, please know that many Americans share your deepest concern about the need to protect this fragile earth, our island home.