Summer beckons, with all its allure and weather-related calamities

Lake Park is eagerly awaiting the summer, as is the entire school-aged population of the country. But this summer may not be as pleasant as we could wish, weather-wise.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of people infected by flea, tick and mosquito bites tripled over the past few years. The culprit, they report, is warmer weather. Great.

The Farmer’s Almanac reports that, after a mostly cold and wet spring so far, the summer is supposed to be sunny and hot. Which sounds great, until you remember those fleas, ticks and mosquitoes the CDC warned us about.

Also, the Almanac is predicting drought-like conditions in the Northeast and Midwest, which could mean fires or water shortages at the worst. Great.

And if that weren’t enough, the National Weather Service reports that outgoing longwave radiation anomaly averages point to “enhanced convection northeast of Australia across the coral sea (in part related to tropical cyclone activity),” which could mean more weather disasters and the further deterioration of coral reefs. Our science teacher tells us that’s, you know, disastrous for the planet.

Great. Just great.

It’s hard to relax by the pool when you start thinking about the gallons of water California doesn’t have, or Flint, Michigan, for that matter. It’s almost impossible to think about hitting the beaches and getting that great tan when you remember the beaches themselves are eroding as water levels in the Great Lakes continue to drop.

One advantage to being stuck inside a school in a spring like we’ve been having is that you can forget about the snow you just scraped off your car. In April.

Earth Day has come and gone, but we’re starting to think it might be time to just call it “Earth Week.” For too long, the U.S. has been ignoring or postponing some difficult conversations that desperately need to be had, and some decisions that seriously need to be made.

Car pooling and conserving water this summer won’t fix anything, but at least it will let us sleep at night. And when the fall rolls around, it might be a good idea for Earth Club to kick the year off with an event featuring just the right mixture of excitement and enthusiasm with fear and desperation.

In the meantime, use a personal water bottle, cut down on the long hot showers, donate to the National Resources Defense Council, eat less meat and bike to your friends’ cookout instead of driving.

Oh, and enjoy the summer. Just make sure to check for ticks. It’s going to be that kind of season.