I was groomed to be a Republican. But my parents made a mistake and sent me to a hippy nature camp every summer. I relished in it: we spent 2 weeks in the woods learning science, taking hikes and exploring how the Grateful Dead was an actual thing. And being completely anti anti-global warming.
When I came home, I joined the Young Democrats at school. My parents shunned me til I dropped out. (Of the club, not school.)
This is how bourgeois children rebel. You can take the girl out of the Young Democrats, but you can’t take the Democrat out of the girl. My parents were stuck with the new me.
I went off to college and studied environmental science. Which basically involved flirting with boys wearing flannel shirts and hiking boots, while also licking rocks during geology class.
But, I admit it, there are things I hate about nature:
3. POISON IVY
When you add global warming into the mix, you are basically dealing with the four horses of the apocalypse.
I know, I know, global warming is a hoax.
Except there’s this. That just happened. As in, IN JULY. My heart’s breaking:
A hunk of ice the size of Delaware broke off from the Antarctic Peninsula.
Scientists say an iceberg weighing roughly a trillion metric tons separated from the Larsen C Ice Shelf and began its long, slow drift northward through the Weddell Sea.
—Los Angeles Times
The article goes on to say that maybe we can’t blame global warming for this. BUT warmer waters, caused by climate change, probably weakened the ice shelf. Whatever, sounds like global warming to me.
#RockStarDad let this info slip out in front of the boys. Now they are walking around the house chanting, “Will we ever get to see a polar bear?”
I answer: Yes, at the zoo.
A few days later, the 4.5yo told me, “Mommy, when I grow up, I’m gonna have a house truck.” (Translation: that there’s an RV.) “And I’m gonna take pictures of walruses. I want you to come with me.”
Uh, first of all, I’ll be really old by then. But mostly I hope the walruses are still around. Because CNN says it’s not looking good.
Really, though, how does global warming affect my charmed, boring, middle class life?
Other than it being too damn hot and having to someday house global warming refuges, i.e., in-laws who live on the sinking coast of Virginia, it comes down to three pesky things:
3. POISON IVY
I want my kids to spend the summers outdoors. At hippy nature camp. Or simply our backyard. And this is where things go sinister. Apparently, global warming is going to turn the other three horses of the apocalypse into the plagues that ate Egypt.
Let’s start with MOSQUITOES.
Time magazine is giving me nightmares:
Scientists say long-term climate change could soon make protecting humans from mosquitoes much more difficult.
The link between climate change and mosquito-borne illness centers around how rising temperatures may expand the area in which mosquitoes can thrive. Most such illnesses can only be transmitted at temperatures between approximately 16°C (61°F) and 38°C (100°F), according to a World Health Organization report. Perhaps more significantly, the time it takes for mosquitoes to develop decreases significantly the closer temperatures are to around 30°C (86°F).
And now for a little fun with TICKS.
According to The Guardian:
Clearly ticks are expanding farther north. [W]e’re finding a lot of tick species moving into new areas. And a lot of that has to do potentially with climate change [and] animal husbandry practices if we’re cutting forests or recreating grasslands… So as a whole ticks themselves are really becoming an emerging problem, not that they always weren’t anyway, but they are getting worse.
YOU GUYS. Start praying. Because seriously, the world is going to Hell.
So many MORE mosquitoes and ticks. So many more MONTHS of mosquitoes and ticks. So many more HORRENDOUS diseases from mosquitoes and ticks. (Zika anyone?)
Just kill me now. Before the mosquitoes and ticks do.
On occasion, I’ve sprayed my yard with death-delivering crap to banish these pesky critters. But now that I have small children who climb around in the bushes, the hippy nature camper inside me has put her foot down. Instead of spraying, I try to follow these guidelines from Consumer Reports.
Except I don’t want to coat my children in bug spray every day. Ok, now, hold still for your daily dose of poison.
Which means, when they emerge from the bushes, I spend hours checking their little bodies for ticks and then admonishing them for scratching their millions of mosquito bites. Trying to convince small children to NOT SCRATCH bug bites is IMPOSSIBLE.
Last week, for 20 minutes, I decided I should get them bug spray. During that 20 minutes, I polled other moms to see what they recommend.
So here’s the list. For your convenience, I’ve included affiliate links. Read my Disclaimer to learn more.
Let me know if you’re a fan of any of these.
Because I’m skeptical. Does this stuff actually work? I mean, what if the blood-sucking devils in North Carolina are hardier than the blood-sucking devils in the land where Babyganics is made?
Instead, I inspect my children for ticks and coat them in hydrocortisone cream every night to treat the mosquito bites. (That’s way healthier, right?)
By now you’ve completely forgotten about my final nemesis: POISON IVY.
More great global warming-inspired news. This time from The New York Times:
Carbon dioxide does more than just feed plants — it also alters their toxic properties. Researchers have found that plants like poison ivy have become bigger and more poisonous as global carbon dioxide levels have risen.
Did you read that right?
GIANT poison ivy – that’s hiding in the backyard. GIANT poison ivy – that’s threatening to take over the jogging trails at the park. GIANT poison ivy – that’s always exactly where the dog wants to walk.
Leaves of three, I hate thee.
Sorry, boys, you can’t ever leave the house again. Until you promise me you will NEVER TOUCH THAT CRAP. I’m totally serious.
You think bug bites are an itchy hot mess? Just wait til your kid is covered in those bubbly, oozing boils that multiple if you look at them wrong. SO GROSS. I can’t even.
Global warming, I wanna fight you and your pesky friends. Y’all need to go on home now and bother some other planet.
I wish you were a hoax. I wish I could just be anti-global warming. Instead of completely anti anti-global warming.
Since the Paris Climate Agreement is on the rocks (thanks, Donny), I guess it’s time to buy stock in bug repellent companies and force my boys to memorize all the pages in the poison plant field guide.
And maybe I’ll thank the Republican Senators who wanna fight it, too. Because the fight against global warming is truly a non-partisan issue.
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Photo credit: Ryan McGuire on Gratisography.com