Global Warming

From John, August 5th, 2011

So you don’t “believe” in Global Climate Change? Really? Which means that you are most likely among the ranks of those who don’t “believe” in evolution which necessarily means that you don’t “believe” in DNA or mutations. Ignorance must be a beautiful thing for the ignorant since it makes life so simple. Still I am amazed at the wholesale rejection of science by a widening sector of our country and even the vilification of scientists in the process.

But if you farm for a living, you cannot escape the effects of what is happening climatically. As the oceans absorb more and more heat and the atmosphere continues to warm, the potential for catastrophic storms necessarily goes up. When you think of heat, you should think of energy. I am not sure how many “100-year events” we need to have (in the form of floods, tornados, heat waves, forest fires and so on) before even the most ardent non-believers begin to “believe.”

Here in the Northwest, climate change has been of late manifesting itself through the incessant storms rolling in from the North Pacific. This has resulted in very late Springs, rainy summers and late harvests. In fact the last 2 vintages (2010 and 2011) offer the latest bloom dates that have been witnessed since wine grapes were first planted in the late 60’s. As a farmer it is hard to ignore this situation. And with all of the energy coursing around in the atmosphere, we have been seeing tornados and violent wind storms in the Willamette Valley as well.

It is hard to know where all of this is leading: while the South swelters in unprecedented heat waves and droughts, the Midwest is practically under water in early summer, the Northwest shivers and drowns, and the polar ice cap melts. In the political arena, the lack of leadership on one side and the downright hostility toward dealing with climate change on the other gives one pause when thinking about the fate of mankind.

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