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Consumer Diary: Dog Feeder and Climate Change

Rosie uses her brain to get her kibble from her interactive Loobani dogfood feeder. Photo credit: Harlan Levy

Consumer columnist and West Hartford resident Harlan Levy has more than 20 years of experience writing stories about everyday experiences that anyone could encounter.

By Harlan Levy

Harlan Levy. Courtesy photo

I was walking our dog Latke the other day when we stopped to chat with neighbor Jason Congdon, president of the Bishops Corner Neighborhood Association, about town traffic safety concerns and the effect on Bishops Corner retail of the proposed residential/retail proposal for the former UConn campus on Trout Brook Drive.

Then Jason’s wife Leslie drove up with her daughter and their dog Rosie, who rushed into the house and began enthusiastically gobbling up kibble from an ingenious contraption from dog product manufacturer Loobani that I’d never seen before.

This interactive device takes brainpower, featuring three bottles – at adjustable heights – that hold kibble or any treats. Your dog must figure out that flipping the bottles and keeping them balanced upside-down releases the food – a little at a time to control dogs who eat too quickly. Watching Rosie stopped our conversation (to be continued). It was kinda hilarious, and I vowed to buy the thing. On Cyber Monday on Amazon it cost $29.59, down from $36.99.

A dose of reality

Here’s the latest blow to all climate change deniers: Average global temperatures set a new 12-month record from November 2022 through October 2023, according to Climate Central in its new National Climate Assessment report released Nov. 7, marking the hottest year-long period in recorded history.

The government report also states that the U.S. is warming 40 percent faster than the world’s other countries, with hurricanes, fires, floods, and other natural calamities increasingly occurring.

The report goes on to predict a series of disastrous climate effects to occur if and when average annual global temperatures rise to 62.4°F, which is 5.4°F above the benchmark pre-industrial average of 57°F. In fact, from 1991 to 2022 the global average temperature rose to 58.6°F, rising at a rate of 7.7%. If that rate accelerates, we’ll soon hit 62.4º.

But what about the West Hartford area? I searched the document and found the following expected changes:

  • Change in average annual temperature: 6°F increase if Earth’s temperature rises to 62.4ºF
  • Change in average summer temperature: 6°F increase if Earth’s temperature rises to 62.4ºF
  • Change in the number of days over 100°F: 6 more days if Earth’s temperature rises 7.2°F over 57ºF
  • Change in the Number of Days Over 105°F: No additional days if Earth’s temperature rises 3.6°F over 57ºF (Phew).
  • Change in the number of days Under 32°F: 24 fewer days if Earth’s temperature rises 3.6°F above 57ºF
  • Change in the Number of Nights Over 70°F: 9 more days if Earth’s temperature rises 3.6°F above 57ºF
  • Change in annual precipitation: 10% increase if Earth’s temperature rises to 62.4ºF
  • Change in days with extreme precipitation: 17% increase if Earth’s temperature rises 2.7 °F above 57ºF
  • Change in extreme rainfall: 40% increase if Earth’s temperature rises to 62.4ºF
  • Precipitation in the wettest day in a 5-year period: 9% increase if Earth’s temperature rises 3.6°F above 57ºF

Those are the predictions. However, Climate Central Vice President Peter Girard told me, the benchmark 5.4°F rise “isn’t a sure thing … and scientific consensus is generally optimistic that peak global temperatures will reflect less than that. Also,” he added, that emission trends can “meaningfully change how much longer global temperatures rise. Temperatures may peak further into the future than people alive today can expect to witness. But if global temperatures continue to rise to 62.4°F, prepare yourself for more rain and snow.”

So, urge your representatives in Congress to get the rest of the bunch to stop dillydallying and take action now!

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