The moment climate change became real for me was on a visit to my aunt and uncle’s house in Alaska in 2005. They’ve lived in a cabin on a small lake for over 40 years, and I was excited to be in such a wild and natural place. On my visit they both commented on seeing new insects that hadn’t been around before but were now present because the temperatures didn’t drop as low as they had in years previous. My aunt and uncle also said they could no longer store food buried in the ground through the summers because warmer temperatures thawed the so-called permafrost. Growing up in Texas, I was used to “hot” weather all the time and I hadn’t taken time to consider that other places, especially like Alaska, being so far north, might have experienced “hot” only in recent years. Now it seems Alaska is often a warmer place than locations further south. Now a Colorado resident since 2010, I’m already seeing changes here that weren’t the same just 10 years ago. It is sobering to have something I’ve taken for granted (like snow in winter) begin to change within such a short period of time, not to mention just about a quarter of my life.

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