Friday, July 09, 2010

Sweltering stovepipes, batgirl!

It hasn't been lower than 90 anytime between 10am and 8pm for over a week. It sure makes me wonder whether there is reason to believe that global warming a) exists b) would affect us here in the NE c) would affect us like this.

a) Do I believe in global warming? I believe in change, and I believe that Earth's weather will cycle and cycle and cycle, never staying in one cycle for over-long. Like a baby, once we get used to their vicissitudes, they go and change on us. So - after 150 years of getting to know this NE landscape, more in some places, less in others, after spending millions and so very long understanding the soils and seasons, it is changing. Is it changing faster, because of emissions and industrial pollution? Is it less able to recover from a normal heat wave? Is ther eless resiliency because there is less fresh water, fewer trees and forests, more cement, and overall less green space? I say it's a definite maybe.

b) Predictability is probably not the strong suit of this science, but there are some facts we can look at: 1. there is more forest here than there was 300 years ago. 2. there is cleaner water, more parks, and lower emissions than there were 100 years ago. 3. there are better laws, more follow up, and more media coverage of problem areas (dump sites, rivers, spill sites) than there were 50 years ago. 4. The problems are bigger, but fewer. Bigger problems are problematic, of course, because they take longer for recovery, seriously tax the ability of reclamation science, and possibly cause irreparable damage. Certainly there is loss of life (animal, plant) and this in itself is disgusting. But there is no reason to believe that the two are absolutely related - global warming and environmental disasters. Could be - but no guarantees.

c) So if it IS related, if there IS some connection between these two kinds of events, it should be more evident in areas where disasters have occurred, or areas surrounding them. Around here, there are the nuclear disasters of Love Canal and Three Mile Island, and loss of speciesation and vast quantities of fish from the oceans, plus garbage, pollution, and medicated waterways. Pretty gross, come to think of it. I am not sure what the number of military, industrial pollution and mistakes have been over the centuries here, but it's only been in the past 75 yrs. or so that the kinds o fmistakes we've made have made the kind of impact we are talking about here

There are also far more people in this corridor, there is more pollution, garbage, energy consumed, and a lot more in the way of ongoing need than in many (most) areas, certainly here in the US. So I suppose, if there was some place IN the US where it is felt, it doesn't surprise me that it is felt here. If this is what we are feeling at all. So - convinced or no, it is making sense to me that we are feeling the heat.