I had returned to Jacksonville from my California and Alaska adventures by the time news of the Kyoto protocol had come around in 1995. Everyone I talked to about it was very concerned about the news. The idea of Global Warming sounded good to me. I remember discussing it with my Grandpa.
My south Florida family had moved up to Jacksonville after Hurricane Andrew had demolished his orchards in Homestead. I visited him one morning in the early spring. Sipping coffee and leafing through the newspaper, I said, “Grandpa, scientists are saying the whole planet is getting warmer. We will be able to grow mangoes here soon.” There was a copy of the Old Farmer’s Almanac on the table. He picked it up and showed me the US Plant Hardiness Zone Map. He pointed to North Florida on the map and said, “No good. Too cold. Winter freeze will still come here. The cold North Wind blows down here from the Arctic. You can’t control the weather with carbon dioxide. I don’t care what they say. You can plant mango if you want, child! Ha ha ha ha! I’m planting peaches and muscadines!”
I argued with him, “But, Grandpa! We are only one zone level away from the mango line! All the top scientists are saying the whole planet is getting hotter.” He continued sipping his coffee. He sat quietly for a while with that far off look in his eyes. I could tell he missed his tropical garden in Homestead. The loss was still fresh. Finally he said, “If you can keep a mango alive outside, here in Jacksonville, long enough to bear fruit, I will believe them. Juanita! This girl’s going to grow us some mangoes up here!” My Grandma just smiled.
In 2015, I found myself in an argument in a Facebook discussion group. A warming alarmist was going on about how all the top scientists were saying the whole planet was getting warmer. Remembering that challenge my Grandpa gave me all those years ago, I went to the USDA website with my phone; then I downloaded a copy of the current Plant Hardiness Zone Map. I used the edit feature to indicate my location and the location of the mango line on the map. I commented, “If the planet is warming, why can’t I grow mangoes in Jacksonville? I’ve been waiting for global warming to stop the winter freeze in Jacksonville for decades!” My Grandpa had won the challenge. He never believed the CAGW hypothesis was true.
That year I became increasingly politically active. Bernie’s ideas were so exciting! I joined a climate discussion group and started to pay close attention to the alarmist arguments. During the 2016 Primaries, I had supported Bernie Sanders. I joined the Democrat Party specifically to vote for him in the primaries. I had become convinced that Global Warming was happening. I was against fossil fuels. I listened to Brian Cox and other famous Alarmists.
By November of 2016, I was utterly disillusioned regarding not only the AGW Hypothesis, but also the fraudulent basis of the Anti- Carbon policies and Carbon Trading Schemes. I became a Climat Change “issue voter”. Climate Change legislation became my “hill worth dying on”. In the 2016 Election, I did something I had never done in 20 hears of voting. I not only did I vote for Trump; I voted straight-ticket Republican.
But there was always that nagging reality. Mangoes still freeze in Jacksonville. I had allowed myself to become convinced that the warming would come as predicted by the “experts”; while I had grown so many trees from seeds, only to see them freeze and die since first moving from Homestead to Jacksonville in 1976. As a kid, I loved the challenge of nurturing plants and still do today. I spent every summer from 1978 to 1987 in Homestead, gardening and fishing with my Grandparents. I would return home with fruit every year and attempt to grow mangoes, avocados and such.
I was discussing a bit of research that seemed to refute AGW when I had my mango moment. When I downloaded that map and wrote mangoes in rainbow letters it hit me like a ton of bricks. Grandpa was right all along! Then I began to spend 4-12 hours a day listening to lectures and reading papers regarding AGWH and Climate change. In the past 3 years I have heard hundreds of lectures and studied thousands of papers from many scientific disciplines. I have reviewed the entire history and evolution of Climate Change Science as a full time obsessive pursuit of learning. The book that will be written as a course of my own long study will be very large and exquisitely detailed. I am 100% convinced that AGWH is wrong. I voted for Trump. I approve of the work his administration is doing to remove restrictions and unnecessary costs and delays to producers and providers of energy to effectively secure affordable and abundant power supply for the citizens of the USA. I encourage other nations to do likewise.
By Penelope Arcana Copeland copyright 2019