Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Debby FINALLY went away but…

Friday June 29, 2012
Lithia Springs Park Site 25
Lithia, Florida

 

These pictures are some of the things I love.South Creek Kayak & Casey Key Beach 006 

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.

   

Saturday 010

 

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.

 

Thursday @ Nokomis 018A

 

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?

 

Nokomis Beach Tuesday 032

 

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.

 

Saturday 035

 

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.

 

Sanibel Island 043

 

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.

 

South Creek Kayak & Casey Key Beach 150A

19 comments:

  1. That is one soapbox I gladly stand with you on. I intend to pay attention to this issue on election day and let my legislators (or wannabees) my concerns in the mean time. It is time we all get serious. Our very lives depend on it!

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  2. So glad you are seeing things return to normal after Debby.

    We should have been working to provide cleaner energy, and to cut our dependency upon other countries years and years ago. In the meantime, I am in favor of a pipeline until we have alternative resources in place.

    I'm going to hold my tongue, today (surprise, surprise) as I'm still reeling from the supreme court decision that came down, yesterday. While I agree that energy is a big worry for our future, I fear socialism is a clearer more present danger. I don't want to get political so I'll leave it at that and hope things change in November.

    Hope you and David get to kayak, and have some enjoyable days. BTW, the weather was beautiful in 2010 on the Oregon Coast and up in Idaho--never took my sweatshirts off all summer. That to me was a dream come true and one I wish I could live, again.

    Great pictures, as always.

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  3. Great post, Sherry! While I'm not too sure one way other the other if Global Warming is really man made(I don't trust Al Gore), I'm with you completely on we need to take good care of our planet.

    It is sad that certain groups have so much control over our elected officials, from big oil to the Sierra Club and they put their agendas ahead of what is good for our nation as a whole.

    So it comes down to me, what I have to answer for and what I can do to improve things. First of all, I recycle as much as I can, I feel that campgrounds that don't provide ways for their customers to recycle is deplorable.

    Even worse is the way people trash our beautiful nation, from garbage alongside the roadways, to junk left in firepits, to even throwing trash along national and state park hiking trails. I just read where the Grand Canyon National Park stopped selling water bottles because so many were discarded along the hiking paths.

    Then, there is the selfish attitudes of many Americans in general. Look at the huge "McMansions" that are being built today. That is a manifestation of "success", but at what cost? Not only do these bloated houses required much more building material to construct, but they put an extra strain on heating and cooling, causing even more reliance on foregin oil.

    We may use a little more fuel in our motorhome than we'd like, but actually use less now overall than we did before, both of us working and commuting in two cars made us use quite a bit of gas.

    Now that we're in our RV, we only heat and cool less that 400 sq ft as opposed to our former 4 bedroom 3400 sq ft house. We can move or stay as we want, saving fuel and go where it's warmer in the winter or cooler in the summer to reduce our energy needs.

    Bottom line, for us, I can't wait for the day that I can fill my motorhome's tank with water and drive merrily down the highway. That day is coming, the technology exists in infant stages. Until then, lets use more wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and natural gas to reduce our oil dependancy. We've spent too much treasure and blood in the Middle East, sanctioned by poor leadership from all political parties.

    Now, let's go make S'mores! ;c)

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  4. Thanks for this entry, Sherry. I worry about that, too. When the price of gasoline goes up, I complain, but it gives me hope that it will give us more incentive to find alternative fuels. Of course, I *am* always looking for the cheapest gasoline in town! Glad that you survived Debby without having to leave your site. Take care and try to stay cool. We are cookin' up here, too.

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  5. Thanks for a good reminder of how important our environment is to this wonderful life we live!!

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  6. Energy - important. More important -Water.

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  7. I am glad you posted this - very well written, if I may say. You know I agree that in the end, the environment and our ability (or our children or grandchildren's ability) to survive on this earth depends on the health of the planet. The worsening weather worries me too - you just had Debby and now up here in MD, we have excessive heat and violent thunderstorms that knock out power and take down trees. Very disheartening indeed. And more frustrating is that people are complacent and don't see or really care about the risks until it directly effects them or their family - and even then, the weather patterns are largely forgotten or ignored or blamed on something besides our "the world is my oyster" mentality. The way we live is not sustainable - my view is that our politicians aren't going to change that - at least not quickly - and thus, it's an individual responsibility to care - I appreciate and admire that you take that responsibility seriously and wish a greater number of others would too!! :) Glad it is drying out down there - I really hope you and Dad get that final Lithia Springs kayak in before you leave!

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  8. Very well said and an important reminder to us all.

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  9. I worry, too. Of course, it hurts when gas goes up, but I think it needs to go UP, like Europe UP.

    Personally, we have a smaller footprint now than we ever have in our lives. We use <2 kwh/day, and that's all sun. We use ~2 gallons of water/day. If we could figure out how to run the RV on poop, we'd be ready to rule the world, Brain.

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  10. I finally found time to catch up on your blog, Sherry. Wow! I didn't stop to think about Debby and you being in Lithia Springs and that's where the rain came down and... gee, you didn't need all that! Glad the tornado missed you. You write an interesting blog without Debby!

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  11. Do you mind if I Copy $ Paste this into an email to my Congressman?

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    Replies
    1. I would be honored. This is the best comment I could imagine. Thank you!!

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  12. Great post Sherry, and an excellent reminder that we need to take good care of our beautiful earth.

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  13. It only takes one person, passing this philosophy to another, and so on...for it to take hold and become important to everyone. Sometimes it is easier for us to all become complacent when it comes to the earth & her resources. Your post makes me realize how important it is to become more prudent in our attempt to reuse, recycle, and conserve.

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  14. We've always tried to do the best we can do personally to be energy footprint conscious. Small things ... but if every one did them ... it would make a tremendous difference. I heartily believe that Global Warming is of our own making -- true there may be weather cycles at play as well, but we are making matters worse. There is a little guilt about owning and operating a diesel pusher -- but we've steadily downsized our living space, and I think our travel lifestyle will actually lead to less fuel consumption in the long run than during our working days. I just bought some socks made of recycled plastic bottles -- good to see re-use in unexpected places.

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  15. I'm with you, Sherry. I was most aware of my own hypocritical moment last year as we rambled through the awful ugly oil fields west of Bakersfield in our gas guzzling RV, albeit a small one, and better than many, and I whined about how ugly it was, how awful, how horrendous fracking is...but still.. I love the road. Sigh.

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  16. I struggle to remain optimstic with such a long standing problem, living in a culture that shows little concern for anything but progress and profits. The profits buy influence with the public through advertising and with politicians through every means imaginable and a few more. The profiteers say life is good and trust us by supporting the status quo and we will make it better. Trust us and the truth be damned. You are right, and they are wrong IMHO.

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