Three articles came to my attention this past week. None of them was really news to me, but it was interesting that all reached the mainstream in the same week. The first projected U.S. domestic relocations anticipated because of climate change. Tens of millions. No surprise there. After all, it was one of the considerations that brought me home to Michigan seven years ago. Climate change was also a factor in choosing this property when I purchased it, over three decades ago. At the time, I hoped that I would be wrong about it. After all, in three decades we really did have plenty of opportunity to turn this juggernaut around. Was I cynical in making the purchase, or did I just know human nature? When climate makes life miserable, or dangerous, people will move. At least people who can afford to do so. Left behind will be the poor and elderly–or so the predictions say. And this only reflected domestic climate dislocation–multiply that around the world.

It’s already happening–and you can see it if you watch real estate trends. In our county, prices are up–but more tellingly, days on the market are way down, in a record-breaking kind of way. Stuff sells fast. Elsewhere, in my tiny northern home town, (where it’s easier to know the inside story) properties are selling before they even make it onto the ‘market.’ Word of mouth is enough for a property to find a new owner.

The Great Lakes States have ample water–unlike my old home in California. Too much, of late. Pricey waterfront homes are inundated, shorlines are eroding. Needless to say, I did not select pricey waterfront property. My Dad always said, “Build on high land.” But it goes to show you that you cannot anticipate all of the ripples of a changing climate. Sure, Florida may be underwater, but so too might inland areas be deluged by heavy, flooding rains, or hurricane force winds. Go figure.

The second article was about ocean warming, and its impact on plankton. Sure enough, those tiny critters of the ocean are dying because they cannot tolerate warmer temperatures (or perhaps the difference in chemical composition of warmer ocean waters–we don’t know which.) These are organisms so small that you cannot see them without magnification. Why should we care? Well, plankton are responsible for nearly half of all the oxygen generated on the planet. That should get everyone’s attention, but it won’t. Rick and I have been planting trees every year in an effort to create and maintain a climate resilient forest on the property. Not just because we like trees (though we really do like trees)–trees, along with plankton, are the lungs of the planet. They breathe out the oxygen that the animal kingdom breathes in. (We are part of the animal kingdom.) Plant trees, please. It won’t matter if you relocate to cooler, wetter property if we’re all left gasping for air. You can run, but you cannot hide.

The third article was about a controversial road planned through what’s left of the Amazon rainforest. It is well known that roadbuilding into pristine areas can be the death knell of the ecosystem. The Amazon forest is a huge source of oxygen for the planet. But economic pressures in Brazil have pushed to ‘develop’ the Amazon for decades–at the expense of the forest and the indigenous people who live there. This past year fires have devastated the region–but not like the California fires. These infernos have been set intentionally, against the law, but with the nod of the current regime. Once the forest burns it’s farmed, or converted to rangeland for beef production. It is an environmental crime of monumental proportion. Again, in addition to the immediate environmental damage, this comes with the cost of generated oxygen. Another, ironic, study this year pointed out a Brazilian tipping point with deforestation. The forest itself is a factor in climate. If you cut too much of the forest, the rains stop. And that’s what they’re beginning to see in the Amazon. These lands cleared by fire are losing their source of water. In search of a fast buck, those deforesting the region are inadvertently creating desert, not farmland. In a dark way, it serves them right. But they aren’t the only ones who’ll suffer for it. We see similar trends in Indonesia, and around the world, with similar ramifications.

We are in the process of creating a future world that may be unrecognizable to anyone living today. Only we have the power to slam on the brakes. World over, people need to pressure their governments to take action. And each of us needs to look at our own climate impact, and make changes. I worry though, that nobody is connecting the dots.