Thursday, February 09, 2006

Spare a little Climate change?

It's getting late and I'm on the edge of my mid-week time budget, but I want to sneak in a post to react to some amazing/sobering presentations I've heard this week. (Or really, maybe, I'm just feeling a need to get the frivolity of a blinding pink sweater off the top of the blog!)

Heard Dr. Mark Seeley from the U of M (public radio listeners are likely familiar with him- great speaker) talk about Climate Change and it's implications for this part of the country. Of course, there are obvious recent trends showing warmer winters, more tropical dewpoints and an increase in torrential downpours, flooding, etc. So what, you say?

Implications include a predicted increase in overwintering of plant diseases and pests, changes of microbes and insect populations, and large change in animal migration, hibernation and foraging. Don't know exactly why, but I got chills when he mentioned DNR scientists presenting evidence for lots of animal behavior changes. We may just be blind, stupid humans who'll debate this issue till we all fall off the damn earth, but those animals KNOW something's up.

He also mentioned that this change will be a boon to the building trades - more time for construction! Oh, joy. There will be less energy needs in the winter around here, maybe, but also an increased demand for air conditioning among us formerly tough Minnesotans. He also invoked the name of Kansas in mentioning the expectation that EVERYTHING be air conditioned. When I lived there in the 110 degree, 95% humidity summers, it was very much like a ghost town or a -20 degree day in MN. People completely quit going outside unless they HAVE to, and then park their air conditioned cars as close as they can to the air conditioned stores. It was very wierd.

Even the "government" seems to be posting some "facts" that seem to match these predictions.

Anyway, I'm trying to think of how to prepare here at the homestead...thinking of putting gutters on the metal-roofed coop to catch water in rain barrels during the torrential rainstorms to use during less water times, and resolving to be aware of soil temp changes (which have increased dramatically over the past 40 years) to figure out what varieties of crops will do the best. We are just learning our soil and land, but now may need to be aware of it's slow change. More insulation, definitely, too... should help in summer AND winter. Gotta be thinking about this stuff.

AND learn more about being grateful to the earth, this place and our home. Attended some other sessions on Geomancy and Feng Shui- but that's a whole different post. Later!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Hey Gina, can you knock it off? You're scaring me. ;)

This is an excellent post.

We were thinking of the concept of "tipping point" yesterday as we had to pull on a cherry tree that James was cutting down. You round that peak kind of slow, but then things really take off and next thing you know, that tree is free falling. I think there are a lot of parallels to both global warming and peak oil.

It *is* scary stuff, but the best thing is to prepare ourselves for how things are going to change.