MADAWASKA – It’s July and, as I watch the weather around the country, I find myself increasingly concerned — record heat in the Midwest, Colorado burning, the mid-Atlantic torn up with violent thunderstorms and the earliest tropical storms on record.

I took some geology classes as an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University. Earth’s meteorological changes and the influences that affect such changes were marginally understood, but patterns were discernible.

Little did I think that a major change would occur during my lifespan as, generally, changes were thought to be gradual, unless there were a volcanic or space event of unusual magnitude.

As a lover of cold weather and snow, however, I noticed that wherever I moved, thereafter, it was warmer than touted.

I have moved several times from state to state — Virginia, Nebraska twice, Michigan four times, and now Maine.

Every time I moved, I’d hear, “Wait till you see the winter here.” Well, I did, and — almost always — there was less snow and milder temperatures.

As a duck hunter, I became especially attuned to fall weather. In the mid-’90s, it became obvious that the “winter freeze” was occurring later in the season. Why, I didn’t know.

Duck migrations changed drastically in Michigan during and after that time frame. I conjectured that large cities were just putting out more heat and warming up rural areas. Then the freezes persisted in getting later and the winter lows became less frigid (outside of the winter that followed the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991).

About the mid-’90s, more and more scientists began to speculate that man-made carbon emissions might be the culprit in rising temperatures and that the U.S. and other developed countries might be contributing to rapid warming, due to the accelerated burning of fossil fuels.

The proposal by some of these scientists, thereafter, was that industrial giants start curtailing their emissions of culpable gases. The “greens” of the world said, “Right on,” while the conservatives of the world said, “No way,” that the weather warming was just a blip, if anything.

Well, as we’ve moved on, it’s obvious that the climate is on a warming trend — glaciers disappearing, record world temperatures, ice packs retreating and wildfowl migrating in different patterns — not only in Michigan but here in Maine as well.

Now, the warming is so obvious that the naysayers are at least acknowledging that it is occurring. Their new argument, however, is that it is just “natural” warming — due to sunspots, the Earth’s tilt, coming out of an ice age, etc., and that there are negligible effects from carbon.

The reality, in my opinion, is that carbon emissions are driving a natural change, and it is going to accelerate at a phenomenal pace. Those of you who derided Al Gore’s predictions or the general concept of human acceleration of warming are, unfortunately, plain wrong.

This warming will adversely impact humanity and wildlife, as ecosystems can no longer sustain cold-weather species (how about no moose in Maine in 20 or 30 years?) and as adverse weather events (storm damage, drought, flooding, rising sea level) disrupt crop production and economies.

War, and threat of war, will begin to hinge on who has and who does not have water, land and viable crops, as opposed to who has a different ideology.

Fortunately, my wife and I do not have children, so we will not, altogether, share the worries of those hoping for stable and productive lives for their children. Major catastrophes may still be years away — or are they?

I am less than enthusiastic about big government with its rules and regulations, but a vote for or an endorsement of anyone who fails to see this maelstrom coming is a vote for or an endorsement of a head in the ground.

We cannot, however, consider crippling ourselves economically in the United States by going “green” if the rest of the world is not somehow compelled to do so. Failure to change — and failure to compel China, India and the developing world to change along with us — is suicide, both for the next generation and, perhaps, for ourselves

Am I off base? Maybe — but I saw this warming occurring before I ever heard a politician or a scientist say much about this issue, and I shall continue to think and talk about it.

P.S. Anyone want to pick a U.S. city and place a wager that there will be more record lows than record highs over the next year? If so, I’ll take your money.

I already won this bet — easily — back in 2001. The city picked was Marquette, Mich. It had 24 record highs and two record lows over the course of the one-year wager. Easy money!

One of my good friends still owes me for that wager. At $10 per record high temperature, that would be $240. Think he will want to double down?

Todd Chisholm is a resident of Madawaska.