by Paul Berland
Hello once again fellow Illinois dwellers! If you remember about two years ago (9/17/2018), I wrote a blog here of my reflections of the future that I had while sitting in Festival Park in Elgin here for little children in the face of the oil and gas industry’s continued reckless pursuit in spite of global warming.
Almost two years later, on this day, May 21, 2020, the very face of Festival Park has changed.
The weather is nice but there are no children playing in Festival Park. Part of this is due to the pandemic, but part also due to something very different: extreme flooding.
They built a new playground here last year but nobody is playing in the playground today.
It seems that despite the best efforts of many grassroots activists, organizations like Save Our Illinois Land, and the warnings of thousands of scientists, it appears that the leadership and the corporations by and large keep trying to sweep the problem of global warming and its associated side effects such as flooding under the rug.
Juan Cole reported about the problem of flooding in his blog. According to Juan Cole’s research, we should expect the sea level to rise about 90 feet because the last time there was this much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it was the Pliocene era, and that was the level of the oceans during that period.
I am not sure whether children will be able to take advantage of Festival Park for much longer here in Elgin, or the wonderful walkway near the river here. We definitely live in very uncertain times.
I have also heard from Friends of the Fox River that the river itself is quite polluted due to overuse of pesticides by farmers in Wisconsin where this river flows from. The local Elgin web site says that certain types of fish cannot be eaten, or only once a month, due to elevated mercury levels. Certainly, fishermen should check local web sites before eating what they catch to check for advisories
As responsible adults, we need to start taking the problems that our affecting our environment very seriously, for the sake of our children.