Hey, Climate Change, Get Your Dang Mitts Off My Commute!

From warped train tracks to exploding roads, global warming has invaded the many mechanized methods by which we come and go.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain. We seem to be, um, stuck on the pavement." (Photo: Phillip Dugaw)
Jul 10, 2012· 1 MIN READ
Salvatore Cardoni holds a political science degree from the George Washington University. He's written about all things environment since 2007.

“I raise their sea levels and yet they deny my existence. I melt their glaciers and yet they call me a hoax. I systematically cripple their biodiversity and yet they fail to seriously and collectively impede my coup d’Earth. They’ve left me no other option. Now I’ma hit them where it hurts—in the mouth of their commute.”

—Climate Change, Circa Summer 2012

Beginning in June 2011, the United States saw the warmest 12-month period on record, with 40,000 heat records being broken.

As detailed by Climate Progress, this hate-yourself-for-venturing-outside-the-cool-confines-of-your-air-conditioned-apartment heatwave has given birth to some pretty hairy travel conditions:

1) At Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. on Friday, as temperatures climbed well over 100 degrees, a U.S. Airways plane got stuck on the runway when its wheels sank into the softening asphalt. The flight was delayed for about three hours until a large tow could pull it out of its rut.

2) At roughly the same time the U.S. Airways plane got stuck, a metro train traveling from Prince George’s County, Maryland to Washington, D.C. was derailed due to a warped track. The excessive heat caused a “heat kink” that forced the train off its tracks. Luckily, none of the 55 passengers were injured.

3) Across the country, travelers driving in their vehicles also faced dangerous conditions as roads buckled due to pressure from intense heat. In Chippewa County, Wisconsin, five sections of Highway 29 blew up in one week—in one case causing two SUVs to flip on the highway at roughly the same moment.

This bitty little list makes me yearn for the commutes of yesteryear, when all you really had to worry about was that pothole on the corner of Main Street and Crescent Avenue and of course the ubiquitous highway congestion starring such licensed nitwits as that lady in the Volvo applying eyeliner or that toolbag in the Suburban rocking out to Sisqo while simultaneously yammering into his cell phone.

Those were the days, weren’t they?

Has climate change effected your daily commute? If so, tell us in the comments.