Sunday, April 8, 2018
Some believe in climate change, some don't and just assume the climate has always had its peaks and valleys. Living here remotely as we do we have time to contemplate weighty matters like climate change. While we process firewood we focus on the task at hand but it is routine and hence frees our minds up to contemplate things.
Having given this subject considerable contemplation as a non scientific person I have come down on the side of climate change. Whether it is temporary or more long lasting I do not know but I see it with my own eyes.
Over the past two years I have noted changes in our weather patterns that are significant. We have consistently had more wind and stronger wind and less snow than I remember in my years here. The east and northeast seems to be getting copious amounts of snow and we who normally average 22' per snow season are barely getting any. The length of our winters used to extend up until the 1st of June but is now over late March or early April.
This winter we only received 95" of snow compared to our usual 264" average. We never received enough to go snow shoeing or to sled down our driveway. I only used the snow thrower on the tractor 3-4 times and the walk behind snow thrower two times. Each successive year I have been noticing a diminished amount of snow.
These conditions are hard to ignore and the weather pattern is clearly changing. More hurricanes, more wildly fluctuating temperature changes, and less moisture coupled with high winds. Whether the sciences call it global warming or climate change it is obvious (at least to me) that change is at hand.
The birds, animals and insects all instinctively seem to know and they adjust. Us humans just seem to roll on and if we suspect or know times are changing we tend to ignore it. The song birds are back early this year and the deer and elk really never left like they usually do through the winter. We are seeing insects earlier than usual and the trees are forming new needles and leaves far earlier than usual.
Time To Be Proactive:
With the increased volume of wind coupled with warmer temperatures the only logical conclusion is that we may be facing a higher wildfire hazard in some parts of the country. Procrastination in properly maintaining our wood lots increases the risk. We have done so on our property but many have not. We feel more safe with what we have done but others seem to have ignored the risk. It brings to mind the story of Aesop for Children about the ant and the grasshopper. http://read.gov/aesop/052.html
That story seems to still have application today especially with the changes in our climate that are observed by us. Some say within our community that if their investment burns they will not rebuild or come back. That is a sad commentary on society where even a major investment is now disposable. I find that a very sad commentary on society especially when other nations have so little while here our homes and land have become disposable.