Connie Rauls scoops frozen custard (copy)

Culver's employee Connie Rauls scoops frozen custard into a dish June 8 at the 30th annual Sauk County Dairy Breakfast outside Prairie du Sac.

Global warming is here. I absolutely know this to be true.

Once and for all, believe us when we say, the climate is changing. I now have absolute evidence that no one can refute. The other day our ice cream melted before we got home from Dairy Queen. We live less than three blocks away. Not only that, we drove there. We were in an air-conditioned car and we drove home quickly.

It was 90 degrees outside with 120% humidity and even with that customary Wisconsin summer day, our ice cream always has held up until we returned home. If that isn’t evidence enough, I don’t know what is.

There are other signs, sure. All that glacier melting may seem important to scientists, but to the ordinary citizen, ice cream trumps glaciers any summer day.

Those charts, graphs and models all those experts, meteorologists and Nobel Prize winners might impress and convince some people, but it is important to appeal to the masses when you need to move people to action. I think my melted ice cream may be just the thing. No one, and I mean no one, wants chocolate bits on their shirt, and I have never known people to be keen on drinking their soft serve.

We take our custard seriously, as told on the CBS “Sunday Morning” show. Mo Rocca mispronounced Gilles, but the point was how great all the custard shops are, Culver’s included. Bob Uecker even explained on camera how California custard isn’t as good as Wisconsin custard, because the cows in California are just too hot. More proof. We know it is getting hotter there by the minute.

When real-life examples aren’t enough, maybe we can read some of the research, but that gets so dramatic and tries to scare us. Forty years ago, there was the first meeting of climate scientists who formed an ad hoc committee on carbon dioxide and climate. There was a comprehensive assessment, which was just an inconvenient truth then. This was called the Charney Report. The results were controversial and unpopular. Unfortunately for us, they were accurate, and now their predictions have come to pass.

They didn’t have modern-day accuracy and the better models we now have. But the results have stayed the same as subsequent science has confirmed their conclusions. The world has warmed as they expected. Strong science requires open minds and a willingness to act. The proof is there, but the belief lags behind. Understandably so. Who wants to be responsible for their own ice cream stains on their shirt?

There have been studies, reports, Al Gore, movie stars visibly upset, climate change marches, and even the Pope has been vocal on the issue. But concern still seems to be lacking. Maybe climate change is just too hot to handle. People have lost their jobs for supporting stronger scientific integrity protections and reporting greenhouse gas statistics. Burying climate reports does not make the issue go away in spite of what some might want to believe.

Academics can argue all day about what to do about climate change, but 97% of academia and scientists agree humans are causing it. Actually, over 70% of average Americans now accept climate change is happening, but there still is doubt as to whether humans can do anything about it. Four in 10 people say they have personally experienced the effects of climate change, so I am not alone.

And the people who deny it? The skeptics who still hold that not only don’t we have anything to do with it, but it’s not our job to do anything about it? Well, they just don’t like ice cream.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at kaystellpflug@gmail.com.

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