Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weather Hypochondriacs

 Oh dear, here we go again. The Chronicle Journal spent Monday contradicting itself from one page to another. A regular victim of the 'global warming alarmist syndrome', our local newspaper should spend a little more time researching their trivia, and possibly do a little bit of unbiased investigative research.

On page A2:
"Today's Trivia
1932: A day of Muggy heat
(28.3C) spawned an electrical storm with heavy rain in
the Chaplin area of Saskatchewan. It flung utility poles across roads, blew down barns, coal sheds, and chicken coops (oh no!)...and overturned wagons. In Chaplin, the Alberta Pacific Elevator Company'soil house was lifted and carried several metres, and a building filled with barrels was left in the middle of the road.
World Environmental Day
Courtesy of the David Phillips, 2012 Weather Trivia Calendar"

...must have been "climate change" that caused that storm in 1932 - they just didn't have a fashionable name for it yet.

Two pages over, the CJ tells us that "climate change is very much upon us" because the East End flooded after some heavy rain. Obviously my heart goes out to all those who lost so much, but flooding shouldn't be unexpected in a place that was once, not long ago - geologically speaking, at the bottom of a Great Lake.

Our house here in Port Arthur was also once at the bottom of our Lake. Maybe someday it will be again. My first UofG hort course years ago had me running all over town tasting testing soil (yeah, I ate some...in the name of science!)... anyway, it gave me a great appreciation for our geological history from a garden soil perspective - most of which was once under water. This should be the perspective we view our City in, and respect that.

The alarmist perspective doesn't help. "Weather over the northwest is getting more erratic all the time." No it's not. It's always been erratic, changing - for about 4.5 billion years. Locally, I can point directly to the thoughtless and environmentally careless clear cutting around the Dog Lake area for changing the wind patterns in the City. ...just an observation from an observant gardener and greenhouse worker. It broke my heart when I saw what they did out there, just as it is over that ridiculous clover leaf at Hodder Avenue and 11/17. Do you not think that by changing that landscape we're not going to notice a change in the City of some sort? Some gardener somewhere will notice - or a cyclist riding along a bike lane - a new wind, a different water run-off...
This is not "global warming" that's changing anything in Thunder Bay - it's us. Stupid humans who think that they know more that mother nature, that a few trees here, and a little bit of the oldest rock on the planet won't be noticed if taken away and destroyed.

Winter and summer have been noticeably warmer and cooler many other times in the long & changing climate history here on the Canadian Shield. This is not something new and alarming CJ.., this is poorly researched, incorrect "journalism." It's interesting: I've been reading more and more about Medieval gardens - after my mother gave me a great historical gardening book for my birthday (Even from palliative care, she's still ordering books from Amazon using her iPad - which is hilarious, and so her. Love.) We are growing very similar gardens these days to those found in medieval England for similar social and cultural reasons (backyard veggies & self sustainability), and in a very similar climate. For years I've been intrigued by Shakespeare's flowers - all the same plant name I read on tags in greenhouses, in seed catalogues. It was some time last summer, we were driving - and on the radio they were talking about how so many medieval & renaissance still life paintings - or any painting that included vegetables, or meals featured this crazy looking purple carrots - just like we're seeing again now ...on the radio they were marvelling at this as if we should all be surprised. That surprised us, as we drove around.

Hannah's reading 1984 & Animal Farm and she thinks they're weird. (My mother ordered those books also - in a sweet hardcover that includes both books.) We've been trying to tell her that there are some good lessons in history - even more interesting when that history is looking into a future we've already passed. (Hey, where's my Tardis?!) If Thunder Bay is Manor Farm, I'd like to know when the pigs are going to take over...because maybe that's what it will have to take to stop the human's poor behaviour. Call it an environmental revolution, and look at it through eyes that have read how damaging ignorance and indifference can be.

If you want to know why our Lake is warming, infested, filthy, becoming increasingly unhealthy - take a look at your street, look at the run off water - and the cigarette butts that are in it. Even with our early spring, snow free roads, it took our Stupid Human City too long to get around to cleaning the streets this year - so much garbage everywhere, so much that could have been swept, ran off into our urban streams, into our Lake, on to cause problems that someday will be reported as shockingly alarming "climate change."

We put asphalt at the bottom of a Great Lake, buried the mineral rich soil beneath, we let garbage blow around on it, oil spill on it, waste fuel on it; we've taken away trees who have the roots to hold it all together - more than we stupid humans will ever have - real roots, a real connection from the sky to the soil. We've been so greedy in north-western Ontario - and continue to be, then we cry "climate change," rally, plant new trees, a garden, and think we're making a difference. But are we? Really? How can we justify that stupid clover leaf or what they're doing to the Lake Superior landscape with that highway expansion? This is not a global issue or the El Nino, or because we used too much aerosol hairspray in the eighties damaging the ozone - this is local - local stupidity and greed. Ignorance is bliss, isn't it.

How about a change in leadership. A new pig. Maybe we don't need councillors who doesn't think bike lanes are dangerous, waste time & money at the cost of our environment, and destroy our history (buildings, parks & landscape) for the sake of a parking lot for lazy people who think four blocks is the Boston Marathon.

::::deep breath::::

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