Tagged: Climate change

Changing Weather

170225-071615-17jeh

I took these pictures on the 25th of February 2017.  You can see that some of the trees were already starting to get green.  Even this weeping willow is early this year.  I was reading that the entire southeast of the U.S. is having an early spring … some 22 days earlier than normal.  Now I’m worrying about what summer might be like.

Later in the afternoon at 2:46 pm it got dark and we had a “summer” thunderstorm with hail, some as large as a quarter.

 

Changing Weather

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On 7 March, AccuWeather.com said that the actual low temperature at Hanover, PA, USA was minus 12 degrees F and was a record low.  On the 9th of March the high temperature was 56 degrees F.

I think that the wild swings in weather that we are seeing around the globe will be the big surprises to most people who seem to not have an appreciation for the effects of slight increases in the earth’s average temperature.

Things Have to Change

 

140920-072217_SkyGiuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa said in The Leopard,  “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”  The problem is knowing what, how, and when to change things.

The geese in the above picture know that they have to keep changing the leader in order to preserve the stamina of the entire flock.

People have polluted the atmosphere with carbon by wastefully burning carbon-based fuels.  Even those who accepted climate change didn’t worry about a few degrees increase in temperature; but they didn’t realize that major shifts in extreme weather patterns comes along with small increases in the global average temperature.  It may already be too late to keep things as they are, even if we change now.  We should have changed much earlier to keep the weather patterns of old.

Many cultures and governments are currently learning that they have to change to keep things the way they were.  We have collectively moved toward global commerce and now some wonder if that was the right way to go.  Is it too late to make the changes necessary to preserve the cultures of old?

If I want to keep things photographically as they are, I will have to make some changes.  If I hope to keep walking and carrying a camera I have to make changes.  I have been assuming that the pain in my knees was due to arthritis, but I just learned that I have no sign of arthritis in my knees according to recent x-rays that I had.  It is my back that is pinching the nerves to my legs and creating my balance problems and pain in the knees.  Hopefully I won’t have to have more surgery.  I had one lumbar fusion in 2010 because of this problem.

Never the Same Again

I was reading a news article about the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine.  The article was about how it would never be the same again in reference to Russia and that area of the world and went on to compare the recent event to the shooting of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination 100 years ago sparked World War I.

Is it ever the same?  Isn’t each and every day different?  Things are never the same and unfortunately it seems that they just get worse.  This applies to deaths by gun fire in the U.S., to politics, to the wars fostered by different religious beliefs, to migrations of people running from violence in their countries, and to global climate change.

Plan for change … it will never be the same again.

Bubble, Bubble, Boil, and Trouble

Boiling

A take-off on Shakespeare’s Macbeth “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble.”

I think of this as I think about global climate changes as our temperatures swing wider and wilder due to the wider and wilder shifting of the jet stream.

In case you haven’t realized it, I am getting more comfortable with my B&W images.  I’m finally learning how to process then into styles I like.

Dark & Dreary

We are still having a lot of dark and dreary weather, but at least we have power, light, and heat which is more than a lot of folks have.  I think that many are now realizing how bad it can be after storms like Sandy hit populated areas.  I can’t think of anything worse than being in a high-rise building with no power, no heat, no light, and no warm food.  I shudder to think how it would be if a real bad one hits the east coast of the U.S. around or near New Jersey and New York.  Don’t forget that Sandy wasn’t even a category one when it hit the shore.  What if it had been a category 5?

It seems to me that these storms are creating more and more damage as the years flow by.  This is due to a number of factors like greater density of buildings on the shore lines, rising sea levels, and other effects of global climate changes.  To me it seems that the rational thing to do would be to stop construction along the shores … don’t allow rebuilding destroyed buildings.  At least stop subsidizing such construction; and I would include all construction in flood plains along with subsidized flood insurance and relief efforts if people insist on living in such areas.  It is long past being rational about stopping global climate change.  It is too late.  We need to now start putting all of our effort toward not making it worse and adapting to survive the coming changes.

But I realize that people are not rational when it comes to thinking about the future so I expect to see a lot of real dark and dreary days ahead, in more ways that just my views of the weather. The economic and social impacts of coming changes are going to get worse.

Looking Back … a Perspective from 2025

Looking back in time to what has transpired up until today in the year 2025, I have thought about why things are as they are today.  In the 1980s and 1990s the future looked reasonably rosy, and now people are asking what went wrong.  I can’t put my finger on one specific event that caused the major changes, but it is easy to see a number of things that jointly caused the major changes that we have had to recently make.

One of the earliest contributors to our changed lifestyle was the change in our climate.  Starting back at the beginning of the industrial age we started adding more waste gases to our atmosphere from the increased amount of carbon based fuels being burnt to power our increasing demand for energy.  These gases created a greenhouse effect within the upper reaches of our atmosphere which retained more of the heat being created in the burning of fuels.  Since the increased global warming was so slow and was only happening in very small fractions of a degree per year, most people didn’t realize what was happening.  They were like the frog in a pot of hot water.  If you put a frog in a pot and then slowly raise the temperature of the water, the frog doesn’t realize what is happening … until it is too late.  If you had thrown the frog into a hot pot of water it would have immediately jumped out.

Another of the major contributors to change was that the people didn’t consider that we only have a finite amount of natural resources on earth.  We acted like the amount of oil, natural gas, etc. were unlimited and that we could go on extracting it for the same low costs per unit used.  We assumed we wouldn’t ever run out, and we were correct about that; but, we didn’t account for the fact that as we had to go deeper and deeper to find and extract resources like oil, that the costs would keep going up until we could no longer afford to keep using it at the rate we were consuming it.

Other factors were the increased reliance on globalization and the population increase on the earth as each year went by.  As we consumed more and more of the earth’s resources we had to expand our sources and find them in other sections of the earth.  Once we became reliant on these sources for all kinds of natural resources, it became harder to recognize, and react to, the increasing costs of obtaining them.  A similar effect came from our growing reliance on other nations for growing our food.  The costs of our goods obtained from other countries were at the mercy of social changes, weather events, increased transportation costs, terrorism, etc.  In addition, we didn’t factor in the impact that other countries would have on the climate and resource consumption as their populations increased.

Finally, a major contributor to our not recognizing and responding to those changes in a timely manner was due to our corporate/political/financial systems.  You will see why I lump them together as I go on.  Our corporate form of management of companies was based on making a near term profit.  Shareholders demanded immediate profits and the corporate manager’s incomes were based on attempting to achieve higher profits on a yearly basis.  When anyone in government, or anywhere else outside the corporate structure, tried to regulate the way we utilized resources, etc. to better control the longer term, integrated effects, the corporation’s managers jumped in immediately to stop it since it always raised the cost of producing and providing goods and services and thus reduced their incomes.  One of the ways that the corporations achieved stopping changes that were in the best long-term interests of the people was through the financing of those elected to Congress.  In essence they bought the votes to stop change and brought the governing process of the country to a standstill.  In addition to being the major controlling supporters of the financial resources of those running for government, they also made sure that the people didn’t realize the truth.  They also paid scientists and engineers to publish reports that offered up denials of the effects of global warming and the resulting climate changes as well as the ultimate effects of continuing to consume natural resources at an unsustainable rate.  They managed to raise just enough doubt in enough minds to slow down or stop necessary changes … until it was too late.

It wasn’t until we suffered through a number of nearly simultaneous events recently that we realized what had happened.  We suffered from global economic collapses within countries that had borrowed way more than they could ever afford to pay back.  We had to deal with enormous degradation of our infrastructure such as our water collection, treatment, and distribution systems.  Our soils eroded and along with environmental pollution, droughts and flooding, our food production systems were seriously affected.  In addition, numerous major storms destroyed houses, businesses, and livelihoods along our coast lines.  The combined economic impacts of these events combined with the continuous increasing costs for natural resources finally brought about the collapse of our economy.  That is what caused us to have to go back to living a lifestyle similar to how the peopled lived in the 1950s and 1960s.