Year 4, Month 3, Day 12: When It’s Cold Outside, I’ve Got The Month Of May

One at a time, they’re figuring it out:

I was a global warming skeptic. I questioned the validity of the studies purporting to be factual. You see, since the 1970s seawater temperatures along the coastline of San Luis Obispo County weren’t changing to any great extent. If anything, they’ve been slowly trending downward. What caused this condition if the oceans were supposedly warming?

After careful review of the wind data from the Diablo Canyon meteorological tower, I discovered that the northwesterly winds during the spring and summer months have slowly increased from decade to decade. These onshore winds produce greater amounts of upwelling and cooler seawater temperatures along our beaches.

Our northwesterly winds may have increased in response to a more intense area of low pressure that develops over the Great Central Valley of California as air temperatures warm, especially, during the spring and summer months. As that air rises, northwesterly winds flow from the Pacific to equalize the pressure difference between the ocean and the valley.

However, this condition is the least of the changes we are seeing. Record low amounts of ice in the Arctic Ocean, temperature records that fall like bowling pins, prolonged droughts, increasing wildfires and epic storms and floods have convinced me that the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate.

By the year 5013, we’ll finally have persuaded everyone. March 3:

In a heartfelt rejection of his former “skepticism,” John Lindsey offers a metaphor for the greenhouse effect, comparing the alarmingly high readings of atmospheric CO2 to an elevated blood alcohol level, and pleading “let us not further intoxicate our planet.” While the comparison is apt, it is not our Earth that is intoxicated, but our species.

Just as alcohol lowers inhibitions, lessens foresight, and increases risky behavior, industrial civilization’s century-long fossil-fuel binge has left us almost incapable of careful thought about the future. It’s just our bad luck that the greenhouse emissions from our carbon-burning spree are melting the ice-caps and triggering a series of catastrophic climatic tipping points. A drunk never plans for the inevitable hangover, and we humans are still for the most part in the ebullient phase of a night on the town: cocky, aggressive, full of ourselves — and unlikely to plan for a long and painful morning after.

Warren Senders

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