When respected weather forecasters start sounding like mad scientists from a Hollywood apocalypse movie … maybe it's time to start taking things seriously.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Whether your thoughts about climate change are emotional (that'd be Red) or based on fact and science (Black, of course), there's no getting around the fact that it's a controversial subject, although the recently released United Nations report seems to be undeniable.


Red may not pay attention to all the details, but she's been a climate change "believer" for a while now. To date, she hasn't been a "Debbie Downer" (as she'd say) or outspoken (although she does admire the tenacity, if maybe not the personality, of environmental activist Greta Thunberg who got the world's attention with her "How dare you" comment to the United Nations), but things have now changed dramatically,

One of my favorite movies is "The Day After Tomorrow" with Dennis Quaid, which is all about an unexpected, and disastrous, turn in the timing of climate change. When it was released in 2004, I thought the movie had great special effects, good acting, but a logic-defying plotline – now, I feel like it was more of a Hollywood version of a documentary predicting where we're heading. Rapidly.

Black is used to Red's love of movies, and the occasional analogies to real-life (and often rolls her eyes at them), but couldn't help but think that it was only two years later, in 2006, that Vice President Al Gore was behind the documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth." While many people questioned the seriousness (and timeline) of climate change, Black asked herself, "What if it was the reason for the rapidly changing weather patterns?" And that if we did nothing (which she often explains is a decision – a decision to maintain the status quo), we might find ourselves in a dire situation. One that could've been avoided.

We aren't experts, but there's no ignoring the United Nations report (technically, it was issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a body of scientists convened by the United Nations) that forecasts a potentially extremely dire situation within the next few decades. It explains how the dramatic and catastrophic weather events we've seen in the last few years aren't coincidences but rather a harbinger of things to come.

Regardless of what you may have thought before, it's becoming harder and harder to deny the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change and what we've already seen in our lifetime (National Geographic has a library of climate change articles). The key's not only talking about it … but doing something about it. Yes, governments need to take action, but as individuals, we can do our share. And even though cars are part of the problem, Black can't help but have a racing analogy,

When you race, there is not much you can do about the next corner because it is coming too quickly. It is a commitment you have already made. You see it in your peripheral vision, but you are focused on the things you can change. On the next lap, you focus on improving what you did last time. But, if you find yourself heading straight toward a wall, you quickly slow down and steer away. We are heading toward a climate change wall – at full speed – and need to take control of the wheel. Immediately!

National holidays aren’t the time to count calories.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We both agree that happiness has a hole in it, although one of us may only eat one bagel a year while the other tries to keep it to only one bagel when she does indulge.

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A day to clean up your desk?! It will take way more than a day …

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: No one is immune from piles of paper, not even Black, the master of organization, but there’s a huge difference between a desk with a few small piles and some scattered papers (although her laptop’s keyboard needs serious cleaning) and Red’s “workroom” that usually looks like a tornado hit it.

Which is why Red rolled her eyes when Black mentioned today’s National Clean Your Desk Day, as it’d take her significantly more than a day to “clean up this mess,” but then she remembered Black’s advice on how to keep her piles (and piles) of paper under control and felt inspired. Red admits often feeling like she’s drowning in paper, but that’s because she lets the piles get out of control before reminding herself of Black’s very easy, straightforward approach to turning her mountains of paper into small manageable hills. And, significantly reducing stress along the way, because as Black points out,

Sometimes, it is more important to know what you are ignoring than it is to deal with everything in the piles.

Last year, it was a day of despair and disbelief, but also one of hope and pride … this year, the feelings of hope and pride seem to have disappeared.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: If possible, the concerns and feelings of despair and disbelief we had a year ago about the January 6 Capitol riots are even stronger today as there’s more video footage, photographs, and first-hand testimony. While there’s no denying there was bloodshed and lives lost at the Capitol, some may debate, usually influenced by their political beliefs, the ramifications of the day. But as Black alluded to when it first happened – you can’t help but question whether Democracy will prevail long-term … because last year, the world witnessed something most people would never have thought possible in the United States of America.

Today, there will be events and speeches commemorating this “Day of Infamy,” and we hope that, as the Speaker of the House stated in her Press Release about specific events at the Capitol,

These events are intended as an observance of reflection, remembrance, and recommitment, in a spirit of unity, patriotism, and prayerfulness.