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Neil Wagner Headshot

Climate Change Makes the Bad Old Days Look Better

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Parents have always taken pride in telling kids how hard things were in the "good old days." That meme is the ultimate weapon when kids have the audacity to think they have it tough. Bill Cosby famously described how his father "walked to school at 4 o'clock every morning... with no shoes on... uphill... both ways... in 5 feet of snow -- and he was THANKFUL!"

But the "things used to be tougher" gambit may be losing some of its power. Thanks, in part, to climate change, snow, wind, sleet, rain, heat, et al., are now becoming stronger and less predictable. "What on Earth?" has already discussed the intense, bizarre nature of weather these days.

Our planet is warmer than any time in recorded human history. Yes -- that even includes when your grandpa was a kid. Heat waves are longer & hotter, and rain is heavier & more frequent; Drought is more common & severe than at any time in the past 100 years. Heck, it's even becoming more common to experience extreme shifts from dry to rain and sun to clouds than it was jus a few decades ago.

Since today's kids face windier wind, dryer droughts, heavier rain, and more blustery blizzards, what can parents lord over them? I humbly suggest the following: if it weren't for the carbon-intensive efforts of previous generations, children would now have nothing to complain about!

It's the gift of gripe, kids. You're welcome.
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