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Bananas, Brunswick Beacon

Japanese Private Teruo Nakamura, the last holdout from WWII, was apprehended in 1974 on a tropical jungle island in Indonesia. He survived for 30 years on bananas. I thought of cave-dwelling deadenders like Nakamura while reading Philip Krumm’s Dec. 7 letter stubbornly soldiering on in the long-lost fight to deny climate change.

Most Republican presidential candidates have stopped denying reality. “Is climate change real? Yes, it is,” says Nikki Haley. Chris Christie explains, “When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.” Tim Scott agrees: "There’s no doubt that man is having an impact on our environment. I am not living under a rock.”

You must have been living under a rock if you missed 2023’s unprecedented Canadian wildfires, Lahaina's incineration, Phoenix’s record-breaking 54 days over 110 degrees, or the fact that 2023 is the hottest year ever recorded. The climate has NOT cooled since 2015, as Krumm falsely claims: the last eight years have been the hottest in history.

Internally, even oil companies acknowledged climate change decades ago. In 1977, Exxon’s senior scientist James Black told management, “Mankind is influencing the global climate through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels." Today, instead of denying climate change, they’re blaming it on you. Crescent Petroleum’s CEO says: “Blaming the producers of oil and gas for climate change is like blaming farmers for obesity. It’s our societal consumption that is the issue.”

The Department of Agriculture’s updated plant hardiness zone map shows the US has gotten 2.5 degrees warmer since 2012. Brunswick County went from zone 7b in 1990 (5-10 degree lows), to zone 8a in 2012 (10-15 degree lows), to zone 8b in 2023 (15-20 degree lows). That means climate change deniers need to dig deeper caves to escape reality and I can now plant bananas in my yard!

Kristine Garrity



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