Rainy. Grey. Humid. Rainy. Grey. Humid. Flooding. Scorching heat. Rainy. Grey. Humid. Flooding. Scorching heat. Bugs extraordinaire. Make me run inside for shelter. AC. A spurt of sun appears. Some tomatoes wear tough rain jackets, many others split on the vine while unlucky peppers turn soggy rather than red and basil’s aromatic gifts are non-existent this year. The grill waited to be fired up but the fire and enthusiasm in me drowned out.
What to make of this autistic summer? Although many people disagree on the “causes” of autism and of climate change, they both exhibit blatantly foreboding signs:
Rainy. Grey. Humid. Rainy. Grey. Humid. Flooding. Scorching heat. Rainy. Grey. Humid. Flooding. Scorching heat. Bugs extraordinaire.
Six full days at best I could work in the yard this summer, and grill on two. Tall grass is as unkempt as the autistic’s personal hygiene. Weeds are poised to take over. They know I will not be tugging at them in the rain or with mosquitos biting my neck. Arms. Legs. Scratching for relief. Scratching. Scratching. Where is the relief? Summer use to be a break from the long, cold, stressful winter but Mother Nature’s fighting, hitting, kicking, biting, throwing objects from her autistic corner. Does she feel cornered?
Autistics struggle with severe anxiety, sensory dysfunction, and deficits in social communication. Half are considered aggressive toward others, and nearly one-third of autistic adults are unable to use spoken language to communicate.
I hear the thunderous banging and wailing. Her words trail behind the clouds…the rain, and tears of desperation. I see her utter frustration.
I suppose if I live in North Carolina, I could close my eyes and say that Hurricane Florence is non-existent. I don’t mean to sound flip but I sure wouldn’t be happy if I lived there knowing my legislators passed laws against climate change data. But, on second thought, just being an American right now where appointed officials deny the science of global warming is equally disturbing.
Talk about “fake news,” or shall I say propaganda or better yet, follow the money trail? Situations such as these underscore why I am against letting a computer tell me what to think, rather than making my own observations and decisions. For the record, I am neither Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. I’m not even in the green party although since I love nature and gardening I suppose I should be. I am simply deeply concerned about what I see happening in my environment, the country, and beyond on our planet.
No need to post photos of Hurricane Florence’s wrath. (She was only rated a Category 4 storm by the way.) They’ll be plenty of devastating photos and stories on the news for days. But, Florence is yet another indicator that climate change cannot be denied through policy. Awareness is the first step to change but if we continually deny the reality of what is happening, are we simply going to be swept away? I suppose Mother Nature will let us know…
The climate use to be rather predictable. At least until what we’ve seen recently. Now, it too has a culture of anything goes. What is going on? Like the bad diet, little exercise and unremitting stress that provoke diabetes, haphazard behaviors and practices are radically affecting our globe.
I feel October coolness in August, August heat and humidity in June. Downpours flooded out July, and April buds bloomed (then froze) in January. These dizzying peculiarities are akin to the human body expressing more and more serious symptoms to get our attention…our care. And sagacious change…for survival.
And to accommodate the more-recent monster storms Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann suggests adding a new Category 6 to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Really? It’s escalated that much?
Like diabetes running rampant across the globe, too many ignore the symptoms until it’s too late.
“We have to recognize that by some measures, dangerous climate change isn’t some far-off thing we can look to avoid, ” Mann said. “It has arrived.”
Until last year, for example, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) averaged a hurricane hit once every eight years and only in the most northern island of Anegada (which is Spanish for “drowned island” by the way). Yet in 2017, a triplet of hurricanes within two weeks pummeled most of the BVI archipelago — first category 5 Hurricane Irma, then category 4 Jose, and finally category 5 Maria.
A year later the BVI is still trying to regroup. Many landowners can’t afford escalating insurance rates and can’t afford to rebuild. Supplies are unavailable for months. Hurricane Maria, by the way, was the deadliest hurricane in Puerto Rico since San Ciriaco in 1899. Think about that — the deadliest hurricane in 119 years. How can these warnings be ignored?
And like diabetes, it’s not just the weather change that affects us. It’s the complications ravaging intricate bodily systems that lead to amputations…stroke…heart disease…blindness…neuropathy…complete kidney failure. But, unlike diabetics, there’s no transplant list for Mother Nature to receive clean air, pure water, or more land.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a study indicating that many storm-related deaths are from lack of access to medical care weeks and months after the storm. Have you considered the devastating global effects of climate change? Once clean air, water and acreage are eradicated, where will displaced populations go? How much food and water supplies will be lost? How many will be infected with West Nile or Zika viruses when the mosquito infestation multiplies from increased flooded areas?
As with diabetes, ignoring the realities is catastrophic. The only solution is to change our ill ways and practice healthier behavior. Put safeguards into place. Now. Not after our legs have been amputated. Not after the storm blacks out the power grid and its ability to provide proper medical attention, food refrigeration, or AC for that matter. Puerto Rico is the neon warning of what’s to come if we remain unprepared…
Admittedly, I’ve been caught up by global warming. Particularly after enduring a very wet, grey summer and attending Josh Fox’s masterpiece performance of The Truth has Changed. I didn’t want to believe things are as critical as they are. But, it’s not fake news folks. All you have to do is see and feel what is going on outside. There’s more to think about now than do I need a raincoat or sweater today?
Just take a look around and you may agree — this summer has been the exclamation point on climate change. I fear the daily torrential rains, flooding, high humidity and disease carrying bugs are replacing the usual summers I’ve loved in the past. Spring has been moving out the last few years. Summer is packing its bags too. Seems the oppressive grey gloom of winter is pirating the calendar and the full sun we use to have — one-fifth of the year.
Yet, seeing the global disrespect and exploitation of Mother Nature’s generous resources, I’m not so surprised by her increasingly loud protests through worldwide wrath.
Like a machete disfiguring a beautiful maiden’s face, we have ravaged her fertile soils, cut down her shade-giving trees, poisoned clear waters, and shamefully killed off wildlife — all for selfish convenience or greed.
Assuming Mother Nature will complacently stand by is as unrealistic as pretending there are no consequences for bad behavior. She is literally fighting for her life.
Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.
—William Congreve’s 1697 poem The Mourning Bride
There’s no denying Mother Nature is off balance and the world seems like it’s upside down. If you want to get a better handle on this and understand the darker sides of climate change, make the effort to see “The Truth has Changed.” It validates the reality of the global weather changes you are seeing and feeling in the environment.
While I do not agree 100% with all of the views presented, Josh Fox superbly details the trail to climate change as well as why I consciously chose to not be involved with social media or “smart” technology but to think for myself instead.
Josh Fox’s one-man, three-act performance of “The Truth has Changed” will tour across the USA this Fall then be released in filmed version in 2019. Do whatever you can to see it — live or in film. His performance is as riveting as the weather changes we are experiencing while literally watching the world go bye…
To be Clear
Politically, I consider myself along the lines of Aristotle who “favoured conciliatory politics dominated by the centre rather than the extremes of great wealth and poverty, or the special interests of oligarchs and tyrants.” Yes, I am of the old-fashioned generation who is receptive to hearing opposing views and negotiating to accomplish a workable solution. I can understand and even agree with various viewpoints on both sides.
I’d love to hear your thoughts after seeing this incredible production.
To retain my sanity and keep stress levels down, I take “news” (aka usually anxiety-producing biased content) in tidbits (not tweets) — morsels that are still so disturbing I cannot linger long. Excessive hurricanes, fires, flooding; power cuts and flight cancellations due to excessive heat; people rushed to emergency rooms for heat exhaustion and dying from heat stroke — are all happening today. Right now. The reality of worldwide weather changes and what I see in my own environment confirm climate change stories first-hand.
A New York Times article reports 2014-2018 as the hottest years on record worldwide. Think about that. (And we still have the fourth quarter to go.) “Seventeen of the 18 warmest years since modern record-keeping began have occurred since 2001.” And these hot temps are projected to continue to rise. I find that astounding. And worrisome.
Every day this summer I’ve thanked God for air conditioning. I wasn’t so fortunate in my youth. Residing in a 3rd floor walk-up with no AC, an oscillating fan kept me alive when I couldn’t escape the suffocating city heat — and that was 30 years ago before even hotter temps.
So much is at stake — lives, food, clean water, breathable air, electricity to name a few. Can the grid endure? I wonder about a global outage. We saw Puerto Rico’s plight with no electricity for 11 months…
Brian Petersen, a climate change and planning academic at Northern Arizona University noted in a Guardian article, “It’s only a matter of time until the west is completely insufficiently prepared for climate change. If we really wanted to be prepared we would be doing a lot of different things that we’re not doing.”
Some cities are offering cooling shelters and promising to slash green house gas emissions but is it too little too late? Have we poisoned what nature’s generously given and created our own Hell on earth?
Cities planting more trees to help alleviate the heat are like saying, “Oh Mother Nature, you were right. You knew all along what we needed…yet, taking it for granted we foolishly followed our selfish ways.”
I wonder what your personal experiences have been with climate change, what differences are you noticing in your local environment?
Heavy rains make weeds grow freely
also easier to remove.
flood the pond.
Fish are swimming in the yard.
Not so lucky for them
but the heron is happy for food
and the grass will be fertilized.
This is my gardener’s perspective on a Chinese folk story called “An Old Man Lost His Horse – Sai Weng Shi Ma.”
From Taoism to Shakespeare’s, “Nothing is good or bad. It’s thinking that makes it so,” the lens widens as the circle of learning continues.
Look at the movement of the clouds
life is change.
Don’t waste your time
things are not as they were
and will never remain so.
That is not the truth of reality.
Forever cannot be.
Look at the clouds
and feel their struggle and joy.
when things are going smoothly, no issues to deal with so to speak,
are also transitory.
“Go with the flow,” others say.
The clouds already do.
No surprise to me, this inspirational sentiment about a garden’s virtues. What is surprising though, is that it was written by the Persian poet Saadi who lived more than 700 years ago. Can you imagine the beauty he beheld then, before industry dominated our planet? If I find a garden breathtaking now, I wonder what it was like for Saadi to see? Could it have been even more beautiful…more uplifting, more astonishing than the way it fills my heart now?