Faded sunshine and way-cooler this Thursday afternoon on California’s north coast as the ‘heat wave’ for our shoreline has gone in a huff of mostly clouds motivated by a crisp breeze.
Still hot via the interior, however, running the temp-gauge into triple digits.
In the crank of observation, Californians are not only getting more concerned about our drought, but are finally understanding the details — per SFGate:
Nearly two-thirds of Californians say global warming is contributing to the state’s drought, but there’s a distinct partisan divide, according to a survey released Wednesday.
Seventy-eight percent of Democrats said global warming has contributed to the four-year drought, while 62 percent of Republicans said it has not, according to the poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.
(Illustration found here).
Despite the asshole politics: ‘Overall, 64 percent of respondents see a link between a changing world climate and a dried-up California, the survey said.’
And again, notwithstanding the grudge-match between fact and fantasy: ‘Californians do have a higher opinion of how their neighbors are doing, droughtwise, than they did a few months ago. In March, a survey by the institute found that 66 percent of respondents said their neighbors weren’t cutting back enough. In the latest poll, that figure was down to 52 percent.’
Collecting within the gathering storm of climate change, the US Department of Defense also laid-on it’s view of the matter, though, really nothing new: ‘Global climate change will aggravate problems such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership and weak political institutions that threaten stability in a number of countries, according to a report the Defense Department sent to Congress yesterday.’
And to add to the urgency of the situation, poet, novelist and activist Margaret Atwood at Medium presented a most-sobering assessment of our planet’s precarious balance on the edge. A long piece, fusing oil, machines and mankind into a must-read for a nutshell-wrap-up of our most-immediate future.
Planet Earth — the Goldilocks planet we’ve taken for granted, neither too hot or too cold, neither too wet or too dry, with fertile soils that accumulated for millennia before we started to farm them –- that planet is altering.
The shift towards the warmer end of the thermometer that was once predicted to happen much later, when the generations now alive had had lots of fun and made lots of money and gobbled up lots of resources and burned lots of fossil fuels and then died, are happening much sooner than anticipated back then.
In fact, they’re happening now.
Here are three top warning signs. First, the transformation of the oceans.
Not only are these being harmed by the warming of their waters, in itself a huge affector of climate.
There is also the increased acidification due to CO2 absorption, the ever-increasing amount of oil-based plastic trash and toxic pollutants that human beings are pouring into the seas, and the overfishing and destruction of marine ecosystems and spawning grounds by bottom-dragging trawlers.
Most lethal to us — and affected by warming, acidification, toxins, and dying marine ecosystems — would be the destruction of the bluegreen marine algae that created our present oxygen-rich atmosphere 2.45 billion years ago, and that continue to make the majority of the oxygen we breathe.
If the algae die, that would put an end to us, as we would gasp to death like fish out of water.
A second top warning sign is the drought in California, said to be the worst for 1,200 years.
This drought is now in its fourth year; it is mirrored by droughts in other western U.S. states, such as Utah and Idaho.
The snowpack in the mountains that usually feeds the water supplies in these states was only 3% of the norm this winter.
It’s going to be a long, hot, dry summer.
The knockon effect of such widespread drought on such things as the price of fruit and vegetables has yet to be calculated, but it will be extensive.
As drought conditions spread elsewhere, we may expect water wars as the world’s supply of fresh water is exhausted.
A third warning sign is the rise in ocean levels.
There have already been some noteworthy flooding events, the most expensive in North America being Hurricane Katrina, and the inundation of lower Manhattan at the time of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Should the predicted sea-level rise of a foot to two feet take place, the state of Florida stands to lose most of its beaches, and the city of Miami will be wading.
Many other lowlying cities around the world will be affected.
There are many other effects, from species extinction to the spread of diseases to a decline in overall food production, but the main point is that these effects are not happening in some dim, distant future.
They are happening now.
Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” among other novels, 15 books of poetry, essays about all kinds of shit, has seemingly captured the essence of our age.
Goldilcks, too, when she awakes will be forced to agree with Pinball’s street cred: ‘“Or as they say in Ebonics, “We be fucked.”‘