In the past, while manning the 350 Roaring Fork climate change booth at Carbondale’s farmers market, a few deniers came by and insisted the whole thing was a hoax and we needed fossil fuels for our very survival. At last Wednesday’s farmers market, with temperatures soaring toward triple digits for what seemed like the umpteenth day in a row, we heard very little of that.

There were those who blamed climate activists for the high price of gasoline. I pointed out the cost of petrol was going down, not because of increased oil production or the release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but due to reduced demand, the way it should be. Drivers are unwilling to pay the exorbitant amounts demanded by Big Oil and are increasingly relying on alternative forms of transportation.

Encouraging people to switch away from fossil fuels didn’t cause the price jump, either. Demand went down during the pandemic and Big Oil cut production. Being typically retroactive American businessmen, the oil barons didn’t juice up the wells and refineries when it was obvious the country was coming out of worst effects of the pandemic. High demand plus low supply equals high prices.

Inflation will go away even if we do nothing about it. If we do nothing about climate change, it’ll get nothing but worse until we leave our children with a nonviable planet.

Eighty-five percent of America is experiencing 90-degree heat or more; 100 million Americans in 28 states have received heat alerts. Records are being crushed.

For you nationalists out there, other parts of the world are affected, too. Europe is sweltering at an unprecedented level. Western India and Pakistan were hit with a heat wave that destroyed their crops. No sooner had that abated then eastern India and Bangladesh experienced record flooding. Droughts in Africa will cause massive starvation.

All this is caused by our addiction to fossil fuels. They’ve done their job. Fossil fuels made the Industrial Revolution possible. Now that we know of its damaging effects, it’s time to say adios.

Fred Malo Jr.