Thursday, March 05, 2015

Snowfree Lawn, Street Showing Pavement - Good Reason To Go To CCL Saturday

This is what our street looked like March 20, 2011 from the corner.  The snow and ice were starting to melt, but there was plenty of snow still in the street. 

Here's t our street looking to that same corner yesterday, March 4, 2015.  The middle of the street had large swaths clear to the pavement with hard ice on the sides.  (There was a slick surface in the morning as the overnight temperatures dipped below freezing and met the street surface, damp from melting ice.)  At the corner (you see in the picture above) the pavement was clear and dry.

Below is our front lawn.  Usually at this time of year it's still well covered with snow.  A few patches might be bare under the tree.  Toward the middle or end of the month the sidewalk and front might start to clear and we get a little excited.  Then comes another several inches of snow to cover everything back up. 

No, this one year doesn't prove global warming is here and real.  However, this year, plus all the weird weather around the world for the last 20 years, plus the studies of many, many climate scientists, does.

Denying climate change and human's role in climate change is like saying, "The speedometer is wrong" when you're going 90 miles an hour toward the cliff.  You're either drunk, delusional, or you have some vested interest in not believing.  Could the speedometer be wrong?  It does happen, but we can also see the landscape going by our windows really fast.  And maybe they've put a giant water balloon at the edge of the cliff so we will stop safely.  But slowing down seems like a much more prudent approach.  Even if you'll be late for your appointment. 

Still have doubts about climate change?  Or want to do something to slow it down?  The Citizens Climate Lobby meets Saturday at UAA's Rasmuson Hall at 8:30 am in room 220. [I just learned that this month the meeting has been changed to Wed. evening.] We'll hook into the national telephone link with the other nearly 300 chapters around the US, Canada, and beyond.  So, if you aren't in Anchorage, you can find a local chapter.   These folks are amazingly well informed, well connected, and run interesting and efficient meetings.

You can find your local chapter here.   Really, they will be pleased to see you.  Times are different in different time zones.  The phone call is at 10am Pacific Time.  You want to be there for that. 


  1. If one strips away the part about climate change necessitating 'doing something', I wonder if deniers would still find objection to it all. We tend to think it's all about maintaining current consumption patterns etc. But what if it really wasn't that, but something far more basic that perhaps, just doesn't consciously register?

    I speak here of the possibility of denying human control as it is seen as (G)od's work -- the climate and nature around us – creation, itself. Is there a fundamental switch that just can't be thrown in this debate around what is ‘natural’?

    What have you read, Steve? Myself, I'm less than optimistic about any form of climate redress predicated on humans changing future consumption against meeting present needs and want. Life will go on without us. I tire of our hubris, our ability to wonder at the love of a child and simultaneously be numb to life itself.

    I see no ready salvation in science nor the heavens. Is this nihilism? No, I'm willing to give it all a go. I see our lives and struggle as having value, of suffering giving condition to life and its meaning as much as inspiration and joy.

    But global warming? I see it in terms of winners and losers. We pollute our nest and things change. I've come to a realistic view of our impact of the planet -- that we ARE acting naturally, as would any super-dominant species seeking its unawares optimisation -- and that this drive may very well kill our ability to sustain ourselves.

    So for some, the best object is to laugh against that dystopian future by building the means to leave our natal world -- to ‘boldly go where no man has gone before’ -- and to cheat the death we fully purchased. There are so many examples of our species inability to change en masse. Please give me the argument of how and why we would GLOBALLY act to preserve the current weather systems we already grumble about and wish were more like somewhere else, while we still don’t know, for certain, whether coffee is good for us or not?

    Give me a rationale that I can make a difference that matters when I can't get my younger neighbours (with new baby!) to recycle their rubbish, to use public transport, to consume less. They are intelligent consumers, life we all are.

    I just don't see I can affect anyone much outside myself. Further, I'm rather tired of people thinking because I'm 'x' on the political spectrum, I must also be 'y' on a particular issue. No, it's not that simple although I'm not a denier. I just don't see our collective behaviour moveable on chosing less when we truly all do want more, whether for ourselves or those we care about. Climate may be changeable, but alas, our nature is not.

    I get back to the root of our problem and that we also don't control well: population. Each of us is wired for reproduction; many engage it while some do not. I know the many reasons ZPG failed, but first among cause is what economics and capitalism says must fail: there must be growth or we die. It's for that reason I don't hold much hope for climate change awareness to result in real change unless we can all agree to mandate the needed changes in law and have it enforceable globally. Do we have the international instruments do to this? That those treaties would be counter to rising nationalist movements, to surging 'liberty' political philosophies around the world that are engaged and ready opposition, I wonder if it’s all a non-starter.

    So, for me, it's not about 'them or us'. Denying climate change may be more like wearing darkly-tinted sunglasses driving our speeding car so we don't see the cliff in the narrowing distance. In the meantime, we have a great ride, and enjoy life. Isn't that what it's all about, after all?

    Our problem may be that God is a fatalist.

  2. Jacob, I hear you. No one knows what the future holds. Humans as individuals, as groups, and as a species have been in tight situations forever. I think one has to do a reasonable assessment of the situation and possible futures. If there is any probability of getting through it, one has a choice to fight for a better future, let others fight, or give up. Different people's circumstances will determine which choice they make. Humans will survive climate change, but there will be a lot of suffering for many. But then there's already a lot of suffering in the world. I don't see that I have a choice but to do what I can to work to slow down climate change as much as possible. CCL is doing an incredible job of that. There's an active London group. Go to just one meeting to see why I'm so impressed with CCL.

  3. Thanks, and agreed, to do what I can and must, while I still exhale CO2. I will look at London CCL, then.


Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.