Monday, July 1, 2013

Phenology: Savage Water Inequities

It's sooo unfaaair. Gate City, Virginia, is having another wet year. Flooded-out small animals from earthworms and wood lice to box turtles and striped skunks are crawling up into people's houses. Trees are ablaze with fire blight. Small lakes are forming in what used to be high, dry ground. Roads become watercourses, cellars become swamps, and yes the human body does grow mildew--it produces misleading allergic-type skin rashes on contact with anything and everything.

Last night I finally did see a moth, species unknown, something small and neutral-colored and probably in the Geometrid family, and this morning I saw three, count them, three whole butterflies: one Spring Azure, one Cabbage White, one Tiger Swallowtail. In normal weather there'd be dozens of them by now.

At the Cat Sanctuary this is the seventh wet year in a row. People in other parts of Scott County don't remember 2006 as a super-soaker summer, but I do.

Meanwhile, out west the dry weather is getting seriously dangerous:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/07/01/deadly-arizona-wildfire-that-killed-19-firefighters-being-blamed-on-global-warming/ (report, containing tweets)

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/015213.html (video, but contains a memorable comment: "In a decent society, firefighters would have yachts and country homes, while bankers would scrape from paycheck to paycheck.")

Detailed report at a long messy web address (Huffington Post).

Note also the inanity of very young people blaming this on global warming, as if there weren't droughts and fires in the Western States when I was younger than they are, or when my grandparents were. What we are seeing are still within the climate norms for the Eastern and Western States. Not fair, and not pleasant, but not a major change from what's happened every few years for as long as anyone remembers.

And yes, people were sending money to victims of climate unpleasantness a hundred years ago...my maternal grandfather didn't completely give up on the West until more like eighty years ago, but he'd coped with droughts and wildfires before 1913. So when you call or e-mail friends in Arizona, Colorado, or California, don't wail about "climate change." Keep up the tradition.