Sunday, August 05, 2012

Climate Change: Time for a Consumer Guide

I am living through a drought, here in Missouri, like I have never seen before. My garden is on life support, shrubs are struggling, and I have already lost many plants due to the heat. A couple of weeks ago I had to put a soaker hose on my Privet hedges because they were starting to wilt. I have never had to do that before, and I have lived in several places with Privet hedges. Fortunately they perked up and seem to be doing well now, but it was a sobering experience.  I am certainly open to the idea that this summer may be an anomaly, but equally open to the idea that it may not be. Have we crossed the Rubicon when it comes to climate change?

Denial of global warming is still rampant, and it is clear that our government lacks the political will to do anything even when some others are preparing.  For example, in England the government is making some practical suggestions for their particular situation.  In Germany the dialogue has begun too (like England they have moved beyond dickering if it is going to happen and assume it will), but Der Spiegel has been critical that Bonn is not doing enough.  For a lot of reasons we are on our own here, and I am ready to start planning now what it is I can do myself.

A few years ago I read somewhere that Missouri was expected to become like Oklahoma if the Earth warmed up one or two degrees. I have no idea if that is true, or even much of an idea of what weather is like in Oklahoma, but that proves my point. We lack good information about what we need to do to prepare in the event that our weather is changing - that the world is warming up. Also, we are told by many scientist that it is not just an increase in the temperature, but there is also a prediction of increased volatility.  Some scientist are predicting we will have more extremes with  more severe weather events.  What is the point?

I believe I am not alone in being concerned, and not alone in thinking that if things get bad with climate change the government is not going to respond effectively.  At least not for a long time.  Think about it.  So far government response has been anemic at best. Unfortunately, the government is too preoccupied with internecine concerns, and hubris, to govern wisely. We may very well be on our own. What to do?  Do what we can to prepare for the possibility, and start preparing now. Also, to help one another.  Here is my own preliminary list of what I want to do:

1. Prepare for Missouri to be one zone hotter than it has been and for even more unpredictable weather.
2. Being planting drought resistant plants.
3. Eliminate what grass I can, where feasible, and replace it with  more practical (preferably edible) plants that can take hotter and drier weather.
4. Create more shade.

That is as far as I have gotten. My next step is to do a web search, and find what credible sources I can that might help me plan. Moving moderately in this direction is, I think, prudent, and can do no harm, will will probably do much good.  I also want to start talking with other like minded people so that we can share ideas.

1 comment:

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