The weather has been screwy. Extreme conditions have affected the whole world. We've been deluged with floods, drought, tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, heat and cold extremes, melting polar ice and a faltering ozone layer. Climate change and global warming are being talked about more than anyone can remember. Are people changing their views because of it?
A quick random survey of East Contra Costa weather watchers says the answer is both yes and no. But it's apparent that not many have changed their minds.
David Oliver of Oakley is one who does think differently now. "I've become convinced that global warming is happening. It's the best way to explain what's going on with the weather," he said. "Those who are unwilling to accept it are chronic nonbelievers who are in denial."
Bob McGuire of Antioch agrees. "We need to look at the big picture to see what's happening," he said. "We know a lot more now about weather and there's no doubt it's getting more extreme. But I do understand that weather historically has been strange and often cyclical. It comes and goes. We're doing a better job on controls. We're handling smog better now."
Antioch's Norma Yee said she still has mixed feelings. "There's so much new information that needs to be absorbed. The weather has been so strange that I've become much more concerned. But I'm still cautious because I try to not take everything at face value," she said.
Judy Parrish of
Rich Metzger of Bethel Island said he can't accept that global warming is a problem. "My thoughts haven't changed, Weather is always weird and always is on people's minds," he said. "People should realize that we live on a planet that constantly is changing."
Brentwood's Marina Griffen put it bluntly, "Global warming isn't happening. Sure, we're having extreme weather conditions but that's not conclusive. We've always had weather extremes. Weather fluctuates," she said. "When the weather gets really extreme, people just talk about it more."
Jacqueline Van Wagenor of Antioch feels the same. "The weather this year has been different and a lot more visible because it's being more heavily reported," she said. "Strange weather phenomena always are happening but people forget too easily. What's different now is the drought. That affects all weather patterns."
Jordan Greene of Antioch said weather certainly has been a weird over the recent past. "I've been aware of the threat of global warming for at least a decade. I think about it and remain concerned," he said. "But it's hard to know what is fact and what isn't. There's too much uncertainty surrounding the issue. I'm just going to have to pay closer attention to developments."
Contact Ed Arnow at BrentwoodBuzz@aol.com.