Year 4, Month 2, Day 21: Hey-Ho, Make You Lose Your Mind…

Ann Arbor.com appears to be an online paper servicing (duh!) Ann Arbor, MI. They note big problems ahead with the state’s fruit growers:

As climate change takes hold, Michigan’s orchards may increasingly fall victim to the spring thaw-and-freeze pattern that devastated fruit crops last year, scientists said Tuesday.

The grim prognosis is part of a broader evaluation of the likely effects of a warming climate being developed by federal and university scientists. It predicts that more intense flooding, heat stress, drought and other extreme weather will take a toll on Midwestern agriculture.

“The trends we’re observing are a bit disturbing,” Jeff Andresen, Michigan’s state climatologist, said during a conference in Ann Arbor where he and other experts outlined the latest findings of the National Climate Assessment, which integrates the most recent scientific research on climate change and is updated every four years. A draft is being circulated for public review.

Temperatures soared into the 80s across much of the state last March, causing cherry, apple and other fruit trees to sprout blooms that were killed the next month during a series of frosts and freezes. Crop damage exceeded 90 percent in some areas. Michigan State University estimated losses to farmers at $223 million.

Same damn letter I’ve used before, with the serial numbers filed off. I’m tired and rushed today. Sent February 13:

Michigan’s got company. It’s not just fruit growers, but agriculturalists everywhere in the world who are facing hard evidence that climate change is no future-tense abstraction, but a present-tense fact. And it’s not just orchards and fields and plantations that are coming under threat from the accelerating greenhouse effect and its consequences. Extreme weather will inevitably damage or destroy parts of America’s vulnerable infrastructure — and crippled roads, bridges, and utility systems can hurt farmers just as much as a storm or drought.

However, there are a few places left where the climate crisis is making no impact whatsoever. Thanks to their fossil-fuel sponsors, the plush, air-conditioned chambers of Republican politicians are well-insulated against the facts. Anti-science conservatives may hail from all over America, but the state of Denial is grossly over-represented in our country’s politics. Michigan deserves better. All of us do.

Warren Senders

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