Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Sun and Water

Sun and water. Both are good for life, but too much or too little of either is bad. With all the talk of global warming, do we really know what it could mean to us individually? Too much sun. Too little rain. Too much salty ocean water as glaciers melt. What do we do-- if anything?

If you have little respect for Al Gore, you probably dislike 'An Inconvenient Truth' bringing this all up again. George Bush, who might have been thought to have some tiny interest in whether global warming is happening, said he would not see the film. There are two immediate reasons that come to my mind why he wouldn't. He doesn't want to know if there is truth in it, and he doesn't want to let anybody, of the diehard thirty some percent who still believe he's a great president, think Gore might have been a better one. Actually there is a third and fourth-- short attention span and only interested in what suits his political agenda-- and that is make money for those already well off. Plus to his base, global warming is a communist plot, not happening, or if it is, it's natural cycle, nothing to do with the human activities and nothing can be done about it.

Whenever Bush suggests he might have some concern about global warming, he loses another couple of points from his base who have several agendas-- one moral and the other financial, and financial doesn't want to hear about anything that costs them money. (What gets me about that is using long-range planning, the supposed saving of money is as short-sighted as not putting solid doors between cockpits and passengers back in the days when that was expensive-- before terrorists, using a plane as a bomb, showed the airline industry what expensive was.)

With a hot summer in the United States, it's easy to say-- ah-ha global warming is the culprit, but the consequences of global warming aren't so simple to predict or assess. I saw this link in Prevention magazine online and thought it worth sharing. I hope anybody who is going to say it's nothing we need to worry about will at least take the time to read Ten misconceptions on global warming. It's always good when we say something is wrong, to at least know what that something is.

We can't say because our own neighborhood is hotter that it automatically means global warming. Climate cycles have always been over more years than one lifetime, but it is still worth noting when we do see changes. Because most of us get our food from a grocery store and live in homes that are somewhat climate controlled, we aren't nearly as aware as primitive peoples might have been, but we also could have more options if we get aware.

The big questions for me on this are: if this is global warming, if the oceans do rise say twenty feet as some calculate, what do we do about it? If the oceans change their temperatures, what will that do to our wind and rain patterns? Is our government doing anything to prepare people for the possible future need for big changes in where they can live? Is there any interest in developing improved dikes for the major cities which are not that far above sea level? What can we as individuals do? If the sun, as some say it will soon be doing again, puts out increased solar flares, is that significant for heating up the earth (not like it's one we can change but being aware might help)?

I sit along my little creek, that is lower than it has been for flow. I watch the skies and wonder what is coming, can I protect what I love from big changes when I am not even sure what they might be?

This isn't a time to be Chicken Little, running around crying the sky is falling, which accomplishes nothing; but it could well be one for the Grasshopper and the Ant. Are we preparing for what might be coming in a responsible way before it's too late? Are we paying attention to the signs and deciding for us what they mean? What is our government doing-- if anything?

(The photos are on the farm here. The first one was not photoshopped but taken with my Canon Rebel with the 100-400mm telephoto lens, looking down the irrigation line and letting the sun intrude into the image. That telephoto is really amazing for what it can do to a simple view.)


robin andrea said...

Good questions and very thought-provoking. I have been thinking about this as well. I do think that humans are contributing to the obvious changes in climate, but even if that weren't true, that fact that the planet is heating up is definitely cause for concern. To think that any government or administration wouldn't take the science seriously because it may have economic implications for certain industries is outrageously short-sighted and thoughtless. I'm sure there are things we could be doing now (alternative energy, constructing levees, etc), but we'll go about life as if things are fine like New Orleans before Katrina. They had the science and the warnings, and we saw how well that was heeded.

Mary Lou said...

ANd it isnt just OUR country that will be affected! What about all the other countries, what are they doing to prevent air polution? what are they doing to control population, what are they doing to prepare their people for rising sea levels...Not much I'm afraid.

I am waiting for Al Gore's mohit town. I will go see it. Even though I did vote for the shrub, it wasnt because I thought he would be a great president, it was because I did not think Al Gore would have been a better one.

I think Gore's done a much better job doing what he is doing now. SOmeone needs to.

Very good post Rain...and makes you stop and think.

Dick said...

Is the Nikon Rebel a 35mm or digital camera? Long lenses sure are fun to play with as are extreme wide angle ones.

You bring up some interesting questions. We do seem to be warming up which I guess is a natural process. The questions I have are how much, if at all, has the activities of man affected the rate of change? What, if anything, can we do about it?

As to levies, maybe we need to hire some Dutch engineers. Seems to me they have had successful levies for a long time.

Rain said...

The questions about global warming are extensive and nobody can say for certain sure if it's natural or manmade, Dick, but statistics make you wonder. I hope you read that link from Prevention. It had some good ones.

This country puts out 25% of the carbon emissions with 5% of the population. Suppose 20 years ago, when we first saw this trend starting, we had put our tremendous resources into finding other ways to generate power where might the world be now? Instead of just saying how wonderful we are as a people, we might have shown it to others through technology that provided help if this is coming because as others pointed out, it's around the world and many places have less resources to save their people than we do.

As it is, with developing nations like India and China moving rapidly in their industrial development and doing even less than we do to limit pollution, it seems like it's a train that isn't going to be stopped and for me, I wouldn't depend on the gov't to do anything given what I heard at the last nanotechnology conference my husband attended. This is a problem individuals have to care about, protect themselves, develop technologies themselves as it isn't going to be taken care of by government from what I hear.

Some would say that's good but given how much money government plows into a lot more meaingless things, I think it's sad. If the situation becomes catastrophic, we have no reason to think the government will be any more capable of dealing with it than they were with Katrina. Basically-- you're on your own and better be thinking what that means as individuals, families and communities.

And that's funny about the question on the Nikon Rebel, Dick, as I for years have used a Nikon that is 35mm but when I wrote that post, I goofed (have since corrected it) It's a Canon Rebel as I don't imagine there is such a thing as a Nikon Rebel. *s* I have the Canon DS6041 for the body and then the lens is theirs with Image Stabilizer which means even me, with my shakiness, can shoot pictures with it when it's extended fully.

Parapluie said...

Viewing "60 Minutes" last night I learned that both the Clinton and the Bush administration have edited through a political screening the scientific studies of climate change. However, the Bush administration in my opinion is the most dangerously misleading. Furthermore the speed of climate change is speeding up as seen in the melt down of glaciers and the temperature changes in the ocean.

Sonia said...

So beautiful photos, Rain.
I am concern about the heating of the planet, too! It's a big problem to all of us.

And thank you for your nice comment about my home!

Have a good week!