Year 3, Month 8, Day 27: Nobody Here But Us Hippie Chickens

The Des Moines Register discusses climate change’s impact in Idaho and the nation:

Can we learn from the drought of 2012? Is this truly the “new normal” climate for which we need to plan? Let’s consider the following.

Weather is what we experience on a day-to-day basis at any location. But climate is the long-term manifestation of weather recorded over decades to centuries and longer.

One indication of decadal climate change lies in long-term trends of daily high temperature records set at weather stations throughout the world compared to the number of record daily low temperatures. In a variable climate system, there will always be new extremes experienced as the record grows longer. But the ratio of record highs to lows should average 1:1. However, on a warming planet, the number of record highs should significantly exceed the number of lows.

That’s exactly what’s occurring — the United States recorded about two new daily highs for every record low temperature in recent years. But by mid-century, climatologists project that the ratio of record highs to lows will increase to 20:1 and by the end of the century it will be 50:1.

I’m just a hippy. What do I know? Sent August 22:

For generations beyond number, humanity’s traditional cultures have offered a way for us to think in time spans longer than individual lifetimes. The emergence of our modern industrial civilization has drastically curtailed our access to this type of wisdom, and we are all the poorer for it. Nowhere is this more evident than in our ADD-driven inability to respond to the obvious and undeniable threat posed by global climate change. When corporations are unable to think beyond the next fiscal quarter, when politicians are unable to think beyond the next election, when citizens are unable to think beyond the next paycheck, and the media is unable to think beyond the 24-hour news cycle — it’s unsurprising that a slow-motion emergency of multi-generational scope receives less attention than pop star marriages and political scandals du jour.

While there are technological and cultural solutions available for many aspects of the climate crisis, these will amount to very little unless we — all of us, corporations, citizens, politicians and pundits alike — learn anew to think in the long term, developing the wisdom that comes from considering not our own happiness and prosperity, but that of our posterity.

Warren Senders

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