Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Global You're Not Going to Like It Change

The onset of global warming is occurring sooner than we expected. Even if this really isn't "it," whenever "it" would be would look and feel pretty much like today. From the look and feel of current weather events, the phrase "global warming" obviously needs revision.

This summer has been horribly hot. A weather map I saw showed the entire United States in glaring red-orange. You picture beads of sweat sprouting from it. This is how the putatitve scenario begins. In Massachusetts it's been in the 100s; the temperature in the Pacific Northwest topped 100; the only hotter summer than this was some time back in the 1930s dust bowl.

Last winter was horribly cold! In Massachusetts the ice and record snowfall got dismissed as another hard winter. In North Carolina the ice and the record snowfall got dismissed as record-setting. Popular saying, "Where is global warming when you need it?"

The phrase Global Warming is just too tame! It sounds like an electric blanket, not like this personal experience of beastly heat and beastly cold, constant tornado warnings and increase in disastrous flooding. We're experiencing an onset of global "you're not going to like it" change. Or maybe it's the "global" that falls short; makes us think it's happening far away and mainly to polar bears. We should realize, "all climate change is local," to borrow from Tip O'Neill. Right in your own country and town you're personally suffering more and more every uncomfortable day the onset of catastrophe.

In the David Keys book, Catastrophe: Climate shapes history. Drought is followed by plague and plague is accompanied by violent power shifts. It actually got a bit boring after a while: drought-plague-war-drought-plague-war.
Our prevailing subconscious Western attitude, the leftover Protestant Ethic, that we are ever-improving and perfectable, shall succumb to awareness that we have no immunity from catastropic forces. And the onset will look and feel like today.


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