“Hey, how about that weather,” is usually a great conversation starter. This year it’s the only conversation. I’ve never seen anything like it in my 58 years on this planet.
As I write this on the morning of June 5, I am basking in the afterglow of another double whammy of severe storms overnight that dropped 2.43 inches of liquid sunshine on my weather station. Assessing the damages I found the winds held steady at 22 mph for a while with gusts strong enough to reposition my propane grill onto its back. My porch chairs were planted in the mud where last year’s flower garden was. My driveway had washed into the road for the umpteenth time.
Opening the garage door I once again, like many mornings, find earthworms trying to escape the carnage. When I look across the road I see nothing but weeds where soybeans should be.
I had big plans to put in a garden this year. Last year’s attempt was an utter failure as my soil needed some major improvements. I kept holding off for better, dryer weather before I put any money or sweat into the ground. Now it’s too late. My only hope is that the jack-o-lanterns sprout where I didn’t really want to plant the seeds. Maybe I can salvage something. I feel the farmer’s pain.
I’ve read the warnings from climatologists about how global warming will bring major changes to our environment. If what we’re seeing is caused by our planet heating up then we need to get serious about our future.
There are too many people who don’t believe the data. There are plenty more who think this is just a cycle we’re going through and there is nothing we can do to fix it. These people are wrong.
Record breaking rains, floods, heat, cold, storms, etc., are all we should need to prove to us that change is in the air. That’s not a pun. That’s a fact.
Science tells us that our planet does indeed go through major cycles. There have been plenty of Eons, Eras, Periods and Ages all defined by climate change and most importantly, changes in not just life but life forms.
Our current Era, the Cenozoic, began with the rise of mammals and the end of dinosaurs. The International Union of Geological Sciences has recently updated its charts and placed us into the Meghalayan age. This age started around 4,000 years ago. Nobody knows for sure what comes next.
In the 4.5 billion-year history of this planet, no species has ever had an opportunity to positively affect the age in which they lived. We are the first. While we may not be able to stop the changes that are coming we might be able to slow them down a bit. All we have to do is try.
On a recent trip to Hawaii I took a helicopter flight around Maui. One thing I noticed among all the natural beauty were solar panels on a lot of homes and businesses. The state has set a goal to use 100% renewable energy by the year 2045. It takes progressive thinking leaders to be this bold. If we do nothing, we are doomed.
KEVIN FOSTER is a rural Ottawan, retired and busier than ever. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.