Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy El Nino or We Have Met the Enemy, and He are Us

El Nino, it's just weather, folks. Happens on a regular basis.

 I'm a firm believer in the human contribution to the new normal, climate change or global waring, I mean warming. Many in my family and others of my friends poo poo the idea of our involvement in the "new" normal. Their premise is that the climate has done the warm to cold and vice versa for millions of years. I think they are correct in that assumption. I do not think we are guiltless in the wild swings the weather has taken in the past 10 years or so. 2015 is the hottest year since we began taking records, although, I admit, it hasn't been that long ago we started.

The world's climate has become a cesspool of carbons created by our insatiable desire to create more and better products for we the consumer. I'm one, you're one and everyone in the world is a consumer...some consume more, others less.

My concern is: What's gonna' happen when we don't have any wiggle room to make some progress, should the situation become dire.

The recent events in China seem an indication we're getting there. The US had a wake up call in the 70's when the Cuyoga River caught fire. Fire Boat puttin' out a river? Scared folks into shutting down the industries in the area until the weather changed. That experience eventually lead to the passage of laws that set limits on what industry could, shouldn't and couldn't do...REGULATIONS, THE DREADED R WORD.

There are times when money, power and politics come together to do the right thing. It's happened before, and it's high time it happened again. The recent climate summit in France was a start, again with few teeth and weak commitments. We gonna' have to set the ocean on fire to get some attention?

I burn wood to fire my pottery kiln. I obtain the wood from the local pallet recycling plant and small sawmill slab. I heat the house with wood. I try to salvage my fire wood from construction sites, dead and down trees on my property and storm damage around the local area. It's been a good year for storm damage this year. I'm told that these practices do not affect my carbon footprint because the carbon released is from wood that will eventually make it into the carbon chain anyway...burning just puts it there quicker.

Small island nations are in trouble, Greenland is losing it's glaciers at a never before seen rate. In fact, all over the world ice is becoming water. The Northwest passage is a reality.

We are fast using the available fresh water supply. We are sucking the aquifers and rivers dry. In Florida they have pumped the aquifers to the point of collapse, and salt water is infiltrating into the underground rivers. Sinkholes are become more frequent and deadly in the Southeast.

Irrigation and urban sprawl have impacted our rivers. Nary a drop of the Rio Grande reaches the Gulf of Mexico any more. Mono Lake in California is basically a dead body of water...sucked dry by the pen-stocks and pipelines that feed Los Angles.

Population, longevity and the lack of understanding, education and other factors to numerous to mention have created battle lines. I'm on the side of live and let live, not do unto others before they do unto you.

I realize there are bigger forces than we mere mortals at work here. I think we are definitely doing harm. We should consider a world with no human beings...cause that what's gonna' happen if we don't watch out.

On a lighter note,  I'm enjoying this warmer winter thing.  I bet a lot of folks in the North East will agree. My  woodpile runneth over.

Whatever your take on Global Warming, Climate Change, and Alternative Energy...try to envision what a world without you and yours would be like. Pristine?  The world used to be just that, Pristine.

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