Friday June 29, 2012
Lithia Springs Park Site 25
The river is running down stream at a clip I haven’t seen in 84 days of camping here.
The Alafia River crested sometime Thursday at just under 16’. She’s starting to recede and the waters are slowly moving back from the land. Yesterday on my run I could see that many areas were back to their Monday levels. With the sun shining today and for the foreseeable future, things should dry up within a week. No evacuation will be necessary thankfully.
Since these will be our last 3 days here in a place we’ve spent a lot of time, I hope we’ll get to see the river at a nice normal level before we have to leave on Sunday. I’m trying to vision kayaking on Saturday though I don’t know if the level will be low enough by then. That’s something I think David could do for a couple of hours without tiring him out too much and he would really like that. But only if the river is not too strong. The park remains closed today.
As you can imagine, I’ve really been focused on the weather.
All this tropical storm rain and flooding and possible tornados has put the weather up front and center on my mind. Other than medical issues it’s been my main concern. I’m going to take a chance here and talk about some of what I’ve been thinking.
Things seem really extreme this summer all over the place. The hurricane season in Florida started over a month early. Debby was the earliest date for a 4th Tropical Storm since records have been kept. The temperatures in New England are record highs. No going to Maine to be cool this year. It hit 106 in South Dakota and it’s only June. Colorado is burning up at this moment.
But the weather has been extreme for the last few years actually. Last year, we were in horrible floods in the spring along the Mississippi. There was the terrible drought in Texas and the Palo Duro Canyon fires that we just missed. Things just haven’t been “normal” for a long time. And not just a little bit off here and there but a lot off everywhere.
In my lifetime, I don’t remember any previous period with such extremes in every section of the country multiple years in a row.
Is the problem in the air?
I just can't help but wonder if this climate chaos isn't due to all the stuff going into our air changing the wind patterns and so many other resulting things. How can it not?
Today on a blog I follow there was a picture of a wind farm. It made me smile, There is a crop farmers can grow in the air while they use their ground for other things. A great idea. But as I listen to the political rhetoric starting up already with the election nearly half a year away, I don’t hear anyone talking about the environment. Or the Climate Chaos affecting thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods. I hear concern about the economy, about jobs, and I understand that.
But I don’t understand how we can really believe there will be an economy or any jobs if we don’t take the health of our planet more seriously. I don’t understand why this isn’t an issue that everyone cares about. Why it isn’t at the top of the list of things politicians are talking to us about?
I’m thinking about that space race we won.
Can’t we as a nation decide to have an all out effort at getting all our power needs off of oil and coal? They are dangerous to us in so many ways. Something similar to our resolve to put a man on the moon within a decade as we did in the 60’s. We did it then. We had the will. I know we could do it now. We are as good as or better at research and development than any people on Earth. We found the money for such a huge project then and we could find it now.
It would be good for the economy and provide jobs. PLUS it would be good for us in many other ways as well.
Without the need for oil why would we need to be in the middle east with all of our military expenditures and loss of life there? Perhaps I am just naïve but I don’t really want to send our troops to defend corporate American greed. Let them hire their own troops while we keep ours for real national defense.
We are currently spending a lot of money on these “natural disasters” and I for one think this is just the beginning. How long will it take before the disruption in the weather patterns starts a disruption in our food supply? How great is the increase in respiratory ailments in the past decade? What about the loss of life and property to fires, tornados, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis???
Why are we still talking about pipelines and drilling? We know the damage they do. It isn’t avoidable. They are short terms fixes to a problem that needs a long term solution NOW. Well actually a long time before NOW.
UVA and my hometown are a real inspiration.
If we ruin our environment, I don’t think economics will be the big issue. The issues then will be enough food, clean water and clean air to keep ourselves alive and healthy. Or will those some day too be available only to the wealthy?
Can we overcome our petroleum addiction before the earth's climate becomes too unstable to grow food for its residents? Can we care about these really important things enough to force the people in power to care about them too? I am inspired by what the students, staff and faculty did at the University of Virginia this past week with their will alone. They changed a corporate decision. Something that would have been previously unthinkable in such a bastion of tradition. The powers that be thought it would blow over but it didn’t. Those who wanted change kept their eye on the prize. Kept their letters and phone calls coming.
I think we can make the environment a serious issue if we have the will and the attention span. If we insist that this issue of oil and coal replacement is important and we don’t let it go away, those who want to be elected will have to pay attention. Regardless of how much money they spend on their campaigning, you still have a vote that no one can take away from you. But you have to decide what really is most important for you and your children and grandchildren. And then you have to be heard about whatever it is and the greater the numbers who care the more the attention.
Can’t you just see it - an Electric RV?
The only thing I dislike about RVing is the use of gasoline. Even though we drive little comparatively, and less than we did during our working lives, it still bothers me.
There are minds far greater than mine who, I am positive, can figure out how to turn our cars (and RVs) to electric and our generation of that electricity from the sun and the wind. I laugh about the big ball of energy in the sky every day which we have not had the national will to put at the top of our list for R & D. That’s a space program worth having.
How do we use it and get the costs down so we can all use it. My electric RV could do 300 miles per day but they’d have to have one that could do at least 600 for Paul and Marti! What did happen to that electric car? If you haven’t heard, check this out.
When anyone asks me what the most important issue facing our country is, I say replacing oil and coal with alternative fuels which do not have dangerous wastes needing constant watching for eons by our descendents. We need this for our national security and the common good. I feel like I am one of the only ones continuing to be concerned about this. It never even shows up as an issue on those “polls” forever being quoted about what the most important issues are. I wonder why they never interview me for those.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming tomorrow. These continuing disasters just make me worried that to our serious peril we can’t see the forest for the trees. I worry for her, for them, for us.