Amidst the government shutdown chaos, there have been some other scary headlines: by 2047, our coldest years will be warmer than any year between 1860 and 2005, according to a new study. So remember that record-setting heat we had 2012, which was the warmest year ever on record by a full degree? In just 24 years, that will feel chilly.

What does this mean for Boston?

You can certainly forget about day trips to hit the ski slopes. Even weekend trips by car will likely be out of the question. Are you enjoying fall activities like apple picking, leaf peeping, sweater-layering, and sipping on pumpkin lattes?

Familiar apple varieties, like the Macintosh, are already heading north. Sugar maples and other tree varieties that give us New England’s unique fall colors are succumbing to new diseases and pests. They certainly won’t be able to take the heat of the future. You can hold on to your sweaters, but probably won’t need them for all but the few coldest days of winter. And maybe the pumpkin lattes will be served over ice?

We’ll trade snow days for heat advisories and poor air quality days that will keep us A/C-bound and indoors. While winter heating costs will go down, electricity-use will skyrocket in the summer, so be prepared for more brown- and black-outs. And, let’s not forget—the seas are still rising, too.

But before we lose you to hopelessness, let’s be clear that we can stop this, or at least slow it down by 20 years or so. If we curb our own personal carbon emissions and cap greenhouse gases in our atmosphere at 538 parts per million (we are currently at about 400 PPM, but we're on track to hit over 900 by the end of the century!), we can give ourselves and the planet extra time to adjust to the warmer climate.

While we've already staved off some significant warming and sea-level rise, we must continue to improve our efforts—both individually and collectively—to stabilize greenhouse gases in the atmosphere to prevent catastrophic global climate change. Fortunately, there is so much we can do, and Greenovate Boston is here to help. We have developed many resources to help guide you on the many ways to live a lower carbon lifestyle.

You can also join our movement by sharing your story! Tell us what you are doing to reduce your carbon footprint and to continue making Boston the greenest city in the U.S.


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