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You see it everywhere. Back to the land, have a garden. Why if things go really bad, we can live off the fat of the land. And you know that was true 100 year ago, but not any more.

Not with our new extreme weather patterns.

But Climate Change Deniers haven't made the connection yet.

Successful gardening is more difficult than some realize even under the best of circumstances. Growing enough to feed just one family isn't easy.

First you need clean water and soil. These days both are getting harder and harder to find.  This is why farmers and livestock holders are so pissed when their wells are poisoned.

Not only can the water NOT sustain their families, but it poisons their livestock and their crops. And when that happens, it ruins the value of their property too. Who wants to buy a superfund site?

Many places have contaminated soil. You would be surprised at the number of properties that have heavy metal contamination in their soil. Toxins that are taken up directly into the plants you grow there. Plants are great at re-mediating poisoned soil, but I don't recommend eating them. I know you thought you could only get mercury and lead poisoning from cheap Chinese toys and jewelry-but no--you can also get it from your garden soil.

This is why some people HAVE to use raised beds and container gardening.

Now there is a problem with herbicides getting into commercial compost material. People have lost entire gardens this way. Herbicides and Pesticides used on plants that are later composted will persist in the finished product. They can even persist in the feces of grazing animals who eat the treated greens, even after the feces are composted.

The next thing you need is the appropriate sunlight and rain and temperature to create a growing season. This is the kicker for Global Climate Change and it's affects on regional weather.

Take Oklahoma for instance:

We are used to long drought cycles. We are used to days that get up past 110 during our heat waves. We are used to Tornadoes and large hail and high winds and torrential down pours that sometimes accompany severe storms. But these last few seasons have been off--even by our standards.

I note that Tornado Season has changed. More, and more deadly, tornadoes are occurring further East. Those deadly December and February Tornadoes aren't as rare as they used to be.

Ever wonder why they had to create the "Enhanced" Fujita Scale? I do. Like the old Fujita scale was no longer enough to categorize the destructive power of tornadoes after May 3rd 1999.

We get more hail and it is highly destructive hail, driven by more violent winds that also make more violent tornadoes. The tornado doesn't even have to land on your property to destroy your crops or garden. The high winds and the hail can make it look like everything was ran through a paper shredder and then water logged. And while this is always a potential hazard in Tornado alley, it seems more prevalent and damaging lately.

Leafy greens can come back from that. But don't expect much from tomatoes or tomatillos or peppers. Especially if these plants are buried in hail like it's sleet. They just cannot take that chill.

The hail also does a number on Fruit trees as well. All my apples for 2 years in a row, looked like someone shot each one several times with a pellet gun. They rotted before they could ripen because of the bruising and tearing.

Now then if the temp gets above the high 90s, expect your pollen in your plant blooms to be sterilized. That is why there is often a gap in tomato production in the dog days of summer in some places. Even if you have insects pollinating for you, the heat will ensure that their work isn't going to have much effect on production. If it gets into the high 100s--like it did  last year, 112 to 115 in some places [hot even by our standards] a lot of stuff will just not progress at all. If you ever wonder why flowers often bloom at night in deserts--this is probably why. So the pollen will stay viable for fertilization purposes.

But the real killer of crops and gardens wasn't just the high day time heat. What made this heatwave unusual is that the temperature at night didn't fall below 99 degrees. Even when it is in the mid 80s, nights like that feel hot. But in the high 90s--it was positively stifling for us, deadly for plants and animals. There was no time to recover. Even a desert gets cooler at night.

Stories abound showing climatologists predicting that global climate change will bring more extreme weather patterns. I live in a place that already has those extreme patterns. And so now it has progressed from extreme to just crazy.

Meanwhile the deniers think they are going to "live off the land". It cracks me up. Of course, this is the difference between people who pretend to be country folksy--and those who actually have to contend with running a farm of some sort or who are otherwise connected to the source of their food. It seems to me that a lot of deniers have all the regalia of living in the country, but most reside in the shelter of suburbia. Their farm is the grocery store.

Last year our soil was so dry and it warmed up so quickly and more than usual, that our corn [and others] it got 2 or 3 feet tall, produced a tassel and then fell over dead [and that was with watering]. Entire species of certain wildflowers failed to bloom. The ones that did manage to make an appearance were stunted and did not produce adequate amounts of pollen or nectar for bees or anything else.

It was spooky.

The Woodhouse Toads and the Bullfrogs hibernated through the drought. They dug back into the mud because there was nothing to eat, and the water that was available was brackish and nasty and it shrunk daily.  The absence of their calls was disturbing.  When you did see amphibians, you saw froglets from the first generation. But no larger frogs and no new tadpoles later in the season. There were no adults to lay eggs.

You couldn't even swim to cool off--the local ponds and lakes and rivers were microbial petri-dishes full of freshly heated poo water.

You could drive down the streets at night, and no bugs would hit your windshield. There were no insects trying to get at your porch light. The bats and swallows had moved closer to the shrinking ponds and lakes to get what they could.

I have lived through droughts before. And the lack of insects was bizarre. No mosquitoes. Probably the only big pay off, which meant no West Nile Virus season to speak of last year---which brings me to another aspect of Global Climate Change: Emerging Diseases!

Back to the drought:

 I fed my bees like it was in the dead of winter, just to keep them alive. And although we watered our garden and our trees and shrubs--they were listless, stunted, and vulnerable. Shrubs that are famous for their drought tolerance--Vitex? We had to put a drip hose in just to keep them alive. We lost our cherry tree, and I am not too hopeful about some of our young apple trees. We might have lost more.

When it did finally rain here, the dead sod and grasses [dead all the way to their roots it seemed] made this smell like you were inside a barn with wet hay and straw. It was everywhere. It stank to high heaven. It took several rains before that smell was no longer prevalent.

How are you going to live off of that? How do these people think that they are going to grow their gardens or anything else in places that suffer drought and floods in the same season? Where the soil gets so hot, that it sterilizes the seeds for next season and kills the roots of established plants.

And as we put more strain on our water sources. We use billions of gallons for fracking that we can never get back because it's poisoned. And yet states are fighting each other and indigenous tribes over water rights.

For what? To water golf lawns?

It scares  me to think that the only thing that might force some people to open their eyes is a direct threat to their personal food and water security. And by then, will it be too late?

How are you going to live off of wild-crafting plants or hunting even? Most land is private now. And we are over populated. You think there won't be thousands of other people out there hunting too [at all ages, experience and *lack of skill]? Watch out for that 2 pointer buck! It moos and makes milk!

So I love listening to the apocalyptic people talking smack about survival. That's funny. They have no clue how completely a collapse would upend their fantasies about being the "kings and Queens" of the Thunder Dome.

They want to start over and make society into their own image, even though they also say it's the End Times and talk about being Raptured. What makes me laugh beyond these contradictions,  is that they really think they will be strong enough to survive that entire process or powerful enough to have some say in the implementation of governance after the fact.

What they are really asking for:

Civil War
War Lords

And it is all unnecessary. These people would just end up rioting and killing each other for basics--Besides, if you are going to be raptured up, why do you need to turn your storm shelter into a Weapons Depot?

The same things that could curb Global Climate Change have such beneficial outcomes in other areas, that you could sell these changes on those other benefits alone.

Okay, so deniers don't think that man can affect the entire global climate--whatever.

1. But by controlling emissions, we cut way back on air, soil and water pollution, this would lower cancer rates and other chronic health problems like asthma and even heart disease.

2. By conserving water, we take the strain off of our water tables and our wet ecological niches.

3. By recycling, and using renewables, we cut back on the land needed for landfills which further can reduce persistent pollutants int he air, soil and water. This could also cut back on endocrine disrupters which effect fertility health in humans and animals. But if you like intersex babies and 6 legged frogs, keep at it!

4. By cutting back on Pesticide and Herbicide usage, we stop creating super-bugs and super weeds that are also damaging our natural ecology [like killing our pollinators and their host plants]. This will also cut back on endrocrine disrupters and even Parkinsons, and ADHD and Type II Diabetes. How crazy is that?

5. By preserving swaths of wild spaces we ensure the management and upkeep of genetic diversity.  Genetic diversity is a good safety net. Because it means we always have a pool of genes available to counter diseases and pests that affect monocrops of plants and animals. This is why heirloom seeds and breeds are so important. But also why we need to protect our wild animals too! Not to mention we are preserving our food web when we do this.

6. Urban Planning. Get rid of urban sprawl. Put sidewalks in and make a community liveable by foot or bike. It would do much to stem obesity and lower emissions, and it would create friendlier places to live where people actually see each other and not just see their neighbors speeding by in their car. It would also lower dependence on oil and gas.

The fact that the rest of the country might some day get to go back to a more normal tornado season--What would that be like?  

Originally posted to GreenMother on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:58 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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  •  Tip Jar (238+ / 0-)
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  •  water is essential to survival (47+ / 0-)

    bottom line is that we have to preserve watersheds.  Land once paved rarely returns to a pristine condition; instead even if the pavement and concrete degrades, it takes centuries for it to completely recover.  One aspect frequently overlooked is the sterilizing aspect of asphalt and concrete as it not only cuts off water and air but also heats the ground underneath, destroying those seeds for a depth of 12" or more.  Add to this the lifetime of concrete and asphalt and you have seeds which die due to be buried for an extended period

    This does not even begin to consider the need for oxen or mules when farming more than a quarter acre or less.  Once you get past finding the equines or bovines then you have to find the harnesses and plows and then you have to figure out how to use them.

    I think I could still hitch a single tree but I would hate to have my life depend upon it  

    •  On the flip side (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Technowitch, radical simplicity

      St. Louis is becoming a down right pleasant climate. Bit too hot in the summer for my taste, and the storm season is definitely more violent, but our winters are short and mild now. We can't grow citrus yet, but may be able to in my lifetime.

      Oklahoma may turn into a desert, but other places will turn into paradise. Climate change is about change.

      It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

      by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:23:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  New Mexico's getting worse, too. (26+ / 0-)

      My wife has lived here since the early 80s. In the mid 90s, we both moved to California, now we're back.

      She used to live in an area of Albuquerque called the North Valley. The city is criss-crossed with a network of irrigation ditches, publicly maintained and fed by the Rio Grande, and she had amazing gardens and fruit trees.

      It could be challenging, some years dry, others too wet, some too windy.

      Since moving back here in 2009, we've tried to have gardens again... and it's been a miserable failure every year.

      For one thing, the state has been in an extended drought running years now. The Rio Grande water level is almost never very high anymore. My wife said the temperature almost never went above 100F -- but now it's a regular thing.

      But worst of all, is the weather patterns are completely whacked. It's an old saying in this part of the country that you know it's springtime when the winds kick up. Now, however, they're so strong that if you don't put up wind-breaks, they will absolutely dessicate and destroy your plants. And I'm not talking just delicate seedlings or young tomato plants. One of our earliest purchases was some rose bushes, and the winds literally stripped them complete bare of leaves.

      Our first year back here, we were living east of the city -- and on the first day of spring got a foot of snow, and hard freezes for a solid month after that. After relocating to a village north of the city, we experienced more extremes -- cold, wind, heat -- none of them conducive to healthy gardens.

      Last year, despite wind-breaks, covers, and heating lamps and planting late, we lost our entire garden's plantings three times. And what was left, acquired from the last leavings of the local garden store because it was too late for us to re-sprout seedlings again, grew poorly, anemically, and soon succumbed to heat, disease, and bug damage.

      What tomatoes we did get were flavorful, probably for having been stressed so much, but they were few and small. The peppers were okay, but they like the heat. Managed some cucumbers and squash grown in containers. The attempt to grow one bed of corn was a joke though; ears the size of your forefinger, and those also chewed up.

      We've added a small kit-built greenhouse to our set-up here, in an attempt to deal with the wind and early spring freezes. But one of the things people don't get is just how expensive it is to do this stuff. Even my wife and I looked at each other and admitted, "This is just an expensive hobby. We'll never feed ourselves like this."

      At this point, we're actively beginning to wonder if maybe some parts of the country that were perfectly livable in the past are in the process of becoming essentially uninhabitable, at least in the sense of having any hope of self-sufficiency.

      Eastern New Mexico and West Texas are close to exhausting the aquifer they've been using to grow corn and cotton -- both water-intensive crops that have no business being grown in this part of the country. I have to wonder just what'll happen when those deep wells finally all begin to go dry.

      "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

      by Technowitch on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 03:09:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Texas is fighting with Oklahoma (11+ / 0-)

        over access to river water.

        Oklahoma needs to pull it's head out and start water conservation programs NOW.

        The people who are moving here, have no idea we can have 20 year drought cycles.

        My kingdom for the want of a Golf Lawn!

      •  Also Green Houses are expensive! (5+ / 0-)

        The soil amendments, the tools, good seed, water, etc.,

        It adds up quick. You can spend a hundred dollars just on plants.

        I saw a guy in Phoenix AZ who bought a house with a broken pool in the backyard. He turned that into a greenhouse type structure.

        It seemed to work really well for the heat, because it was in the ground.  Maybe you need to think in terms of digging in, literally, and perhaps growing Mesquite trees for dappled shade and some wind breaks.

        •  Some will have to wait because we're renting (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Paul Ferguson

 present. Our eventual plan is to settle down and own a place again, but for now we're hanging onto our assets and waiting for the mortgage mess to pass.

          As a consequence, we're limited in how much we can actually do. The greenhouse is a small one -- 8x10 -- and can be disassembled and moved, or we might just hire some brawny guys to pick it up and load it onto a truck. We're using raised beds to conserve soil and moisture, and this coming year will switch from watering by hand to using an also removable drip irrigation system.

          Digging in might not be a bad idea though, in the longer run, assuming we stay put.

          "Don't ride in anything with a Capissen 38 engine. They fall right out of the sky." -- Kaywinnit Lee Frye

          by Technowitch on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 03:22:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You've described my state as well (5+ / 0-)

        It's not just the extremes but the unpredictability. In South Dakota lilacs usually (used to) bloom just before or around Mother's Day. Peonies on or around Memorial Day. Those spring blooms have pushed steadily forward. Last year my lilacs bloomed near Memorial Day and the peonies near the third week of June.

        A couple of years ago we went from winter to full summer in March. The April rains might come in March or May or not at all. It used to be practice to plant cold weather vegetable near the end of March or early April at the latest and the safe date to set out tomatoes was Mother's Day. No more. It's been years since I could plant that early. And though the winters are milder in temperature the frost date has gotten later.

        Yes. Yes. It's all anecdotal. But piles of anecdotes equal data.

      •  This is why Bush baby bought the water rich ranch (0+ / 0-)

        in SA.

        Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:43:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I gather that every bit (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        of the Rio Grande is tapped for irrigation and municipal water. By the time it reaches the Gulf, it's a muddy trickle.

        Better get used to the idea of a front yard of desert cactus and sage. The golf lawn needs to become a thing of wistful nostalgia as the demand for CLEAN water every rises. As an Easterner, I was surprised to learn that in some western states, it is actually a CRIME to collect rainwater that falls on your own roof or property.

        What th' heck do I know, I work for a living...

        by SamuraiArtGuy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:35:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tell that to the Yuppies in Arizona (0+ / 0-)

          People used to move there, because the lack of grass meant that their allergies would clear up.

          That is no longer true.

          People who have grass lawns in places like Arizona have to waterlog the sod. They have to use so much water per treatment that the water actually stagnates and stinks like shit.

          "But it sure does look pertty~!"

          I get making a grow dome out of an old swimming pool for a family. Or out of an old hangar for a small community. That I understand because you can conserve water inside those structures.

          But the other? Pure Stupid Vanity.

  •  The biggest mistake (75+ / 0-)

    in my estimation was calling the phenomena 'Global Warming'.  When you tell someone that the Earth's temperature is going to rise by two or three degrees most people, particularly those who live in temperate climates shrug their shoulders.

    But to a large degree, pardon the pun, this isn't about temperature.  It is about energy.  The greenhouse effect is about the net energy balance.  The amount of energy from the sun that is incident on the Earth vs that which is either reflected or absorbed and trapped.  Now once trapped, that energy can take many forms.  The grossest measure of that energy is just the average temperature of the planet.  But energy is a dynamic thing.  It is continually transforming itself between potential and kinetic energy.

    Imagine those snow globes we all had as kids.  It is a closed system, much like the weather.  The energy is provided by shaking it, much like the energy to our system is supplied by the sun.  Shake it hard enough and all hell breaks loose.

    By creating conditions where we trap more energy in the system, that energy can pop up in weird and unexpected ways because the climate is a complex non-linear system.  I pity the poor bastards who are trying to model it because fundamentally, it can't be done.  All you can do is get hints as to where it might go.  That is why uncertainty is not our friend in this business.  And those who would use uncertainty as reason for doing nothing are playing Russian roulette with our future.

    •  Very interesting. Thanks (5+ / 0-)

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:08:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Spot on description. Thanks. (16+ / 0-)

      It isn't about 'warming'. It's greater energy in the system. Gotta come out somewhere, and when it does you won't like it.

      But I have to disagree with you on one point. The biggest mistake wasn't the name for the effect. The biggest mistake was letting the shortsighted greedheads take charge of the remediation process, and stifle it for so long that at this point I fear it's just too late.

      •  You are never going to be able to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, dejavu, banjolele, Shockwave

        Legislate behavior. Interesting example:

        My company has "gone green". Part of this is that I am no longer allowed a trash can at my desk; I only get a recycle bin. However, I work in IT. We (for the most part) don't use paper. So now, I have an empty recycle bin at my desk, and every time I blow my nose, I have to get up an walk to the only landfill trash can on the floor. Those of us that have to live with this resent the imposition so much that we all throw perfectly recyclable stuff in the landfill can, and landfill stuff in the recyclable can, just to be jerks.

        If you want to influence behavior, you have to use the carrot. The stick never works with people.

        It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

        by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:30:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes but we do need certain rules (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenMother, debaseTheBase

          It starts with the realization that we share a common atmosphere.  We all understand that we have to pay into the upkeep of a collective sewer system because just opening up your window and pissing out of it is unfair to everyone else who has to walk through your filth.  Even if you don't care about your own sanitary situation.  Allowing others to spew pollutants into our common atmosphere is exactly the same as allowing people to just shit and piss in the street.  Your right to do that ends when it negatively impacts others.  And the stick is appropriate when it comes to protecting others from your bad behavior.  

          •  Go for it (0+ / 0-)

            Legislating against air pollution and water pollution have worked great so far. I'm sure as soon as you attack urban sprawl we'll all be living in car free cities.

            Carrot. Not stick. Make solar cheaper than coal and watch people dump it.

            It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

            by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:52:23 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Legislation against air and water pollution have (8+ / 0-)

              been major successes.  That's why we still have eagles.  It's why we don't currently have rivers that burn.  It hasn't solved the whole problem, partly because neanderthal Republicans took over and have fought any updating and extending of legislation whenever they could.  And aprtly because carrots are important too.  I don't argue with that.  But legislation is a very important part of a successful response.

              The managers at your company are idiots.  

              I do agree that we need to make wind and solar cheap.  Subsidize if necessary, for a while.  Or just tax oil, and cut subsidies to oil.

              Legislate against fraking.  Big stick for companies that poison other people's water.  Hit'em hard.

          •  People stopped doing both of those things (0+ / 0-)

            when outhouses, and later indoor plumbing, became cheap and readily available. That would be the carrot.

        •  I understand the frustration (6+ / 0-)

          Believe me I do, I was in the military after all ;)

          But why spite your nose and cut your face?

          Bring a brown paper lunch bag to your desk and throw your snot rags in there and take them home. Or put them in a garbage can.

          Even people in Oklahoma are recycling. I have bins for it and it's a pain in my ass, but I do it because I don't want my plastic crap killing sea turtles.

          I will be happy when more companies make things with less packaging or with compostable packaging.

          •  Oh, most of the time I do (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, boophus

            It's the fact that before this was mandated, I would happily walk to the kitchen to make sure my soda cans got recycled. Given the choice, I chose to do the right thing. Force me to do it, and fuck you.

            It basic human psychology. People don't want to be told what to do. People are not sheep; people are like goats. Sheep are stupid, and have to be driven. Goats are smart, and have to be led.

            (Thanks Terry Pratchett)

            It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

            by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:33:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  How's this carrot? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You get to live.  Your children get to live.  Your grandchildren get to live.  The human species manages to make the adaptations necessary to weather this storm and come out the other side still more or less in one piece.  The stick is that we don't.  I'm not the one holding that stick, so don't complain to me.  I'm just the one pointing it out.  Right there, behind you.  In the corner of your eye.

          Your employer might have been a little bit silly putting in a recycling bin where one might not have been very effective, but your behavior is simply childish.  Seriously, are you twelve?

          I sympathize with one of your comment replies.  I agree that the network of federal subsidies we've used to lobotomize market forces with regard to fossil fuel, keeping them unnaturally cheap in this case, would be better utilized in getting renewable energy off the ground.  But just like I'm not holding the stick, I also don't hold America's purse strings.  And given the amount of power and wealth opposed to change, I'm afraid we'll just have to go full Gandhi on this one and become the change, until enough of us have that the system changes with us.  The kind of top down hand holding you're expecting will never happen.  Not in America, where our elected representatives tend to be little better than front men for corporations.

          Just so you know, like GreenMother, I learned to control my frustration with institutional irrationality in uniform, so I'm familiar with the impulse, believe me.  She's right, though.  And you should know that your petty lashing out does not hurt your employer, but some guy (probably a lot like you) making his living at a recycling plant.  I'm not sure what he did to ruin your day.  Meanwhile, you've sent good resources, which we need to keep using because they cost money and had to be mined for, into a landfill.  They'll still be there when you're dead.

        •  using "the stick" is Nature's way (0+ / 0-)

          and when Ma uses the stick, it changes behavior. Big Time.

          Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

          by kamarvt on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 07:22:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  But "shortsighted greedheads" are in (6+ / 0-)

        charge of everything here. The plutocracy knows they will be okay no matter what--even if they have to set sail for Venus or Mars. Wish we could send all the 1%ers there now, except for the few doing good works and giving back.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:40:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Heat is energy in motion (20+ / 0-)

      It can move by convection, conduction, or radiation. Only the last of these works through space.

      The greenhouse gasses prevent the earth's natural radiation from reaching space.

      Therefore the entire lithosphere contains more energy, every single day. And stuff happens. Air gets warmer and holds more water so storms get bigger. Water gets warmer and more acidic so ocean life migrates or dies. And earth gets warmer and drier and more prone to flood and drought.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:33:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Most people do not understand that (15+ / 0-)

        warm moist air is food for storms.

        Here on the plains you can literally watch them pop up with the afternoon convection heating--they appear to pop like popcorn kernels.

        It's crazy!

        •  You should come to Denver (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilyana, kyril, dirkster42

          of a summer evening, sit on a deck with a view of the Rockies, and watch the clouds form over the mountains and head out over the city.

          In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

          by blue aardvark on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:41:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've been homesteading (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in the mountains of western NC for 20 years now, glad I'm no longer in Oklahoma! Over those 20 years the weather has fluctuated rather drastically year to year. Some years it dries up so bad that gray water's all the crops can get. Some years it rains an inch a day all summer, open pollinators don't get pollenated. Some years there's a heavy mast crop, some years there's no fruit or nuts/acorns at all.

          My technique is to plant some of this and some of that (seeds aren't that expensive, and I save more than I ever need), see what manages to survive long enough to produce. Wastes some space, but I've got space. Apples have blight, haven't produced well for a few years. But have a volunteer peach tree coming up from the old compost pile, if it bears this year I'm planting more... maybe figs! Ah, The Year Without Winter.

          I am lucky to have a well-sheltered cove, south-facing so it still gets good sun. But we're well protected from tornadoes and most of the big winds. Our precious spring water supply is habitually conserved - nothing upstream but the continental divide and a few hundred thousand acres of the oldest National Forest tract in existence. We know the value of this land, guard it with our lives.

          Famine is a serious concern as things change. People are generally smart enough to move uphill when the water rises, but they'll die if they don't have food to eat. So I always encourage my city friends to grow some veggies in the yard or on the porch. In boxes (old drawers work nice for salads and shallow-root veggies) and pots. Have a friend with a big roofed deck who now grows a dozen or more tomato plants in those hanging basket things. Gets enough to can/freeze and cool shade on summer afternoons. Once lived in a city where an entire neighborhood of older homes planted the ground space between the curb and sidewalks (quiet traffic) in kales, collards, peas, lettuces and marigolds. Beautiful and lovely evening walks, plenty to eat. Kids always eat the peas straight from the pods raw. Ever noticed that?

          Thanks for this timely diary.


      The thing most people don't understand (I think?) is that the scientists are talking 2-3 degrees CELSIUS. Not F, as most Americans think in!

      1 degree C = 1.8 degree F, so....

      2 degrees Celsius = 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit
      3 degrees C = 5.4 degrees F

      I think (if I'm right about this) that that is one of the big reasons people don't take the temperature rise seriously... they're thinking in degrees F, not almost twice as much (in degrees C)

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:57:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If you live in Joplin, MO you don't care.... (4+ / 0-)

      Framing of global warming is not the problem at all. People's views re: AGW/climate change fall along political lines, and, of course greed is a factor. It's not an ad campaign, it's nature/physics and it's gonna bite and leave marks no matter what you call it.

      78% of Dems believe temps are increasing due to AGW.
      47% of GOPers do

      In spite of tons of terrible climate reporting including the NYT, WSJ, and FNC climate change denial from the Bush administration, all GOP presidential candidates, "think" tanks like the Heartland Institute, etc., etc., most people accept that the atmosphere and oceans are warming.

    •  I like "radiation entrapment" as a framing n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terranova0 - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

      by barath on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 03:05:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not just that but heat distributes based on what (0+ / 0-)

        it is be transferred through so it is never evenly distributed. So people who think we can't affect the atmosphere just can't see it because everywhere hasn't heated up the same amount. Crimminy even before we entered the oil age  no where was the same temp as other places. And there are examples of large populations damaging thier environment. I believe that there was a forest innorthernMexico that was cut downfor farming because it always got such good rainfall ... The rainfall dried up without the forest... I recently read (even though a college professor and I argued about this) that there issome evidence that this is direct cause.

        It is like the irrigation that other civilizations have used. Ancient Egypt got away with it because they let the river flood and clean the land of the deposits irrigation leaves on the surface. But many places that have the temps anduse irrigation have to put in elaqborate drain systems and use water to wash away those salts. Kesterson in CA was one of the receiving lakes for those drainage systems. Otherwise the soil becomes less useful. Also I read that our current level of intensive farming is leaving the nutrient level in soil depleted... that is why we have to sue so many fertilizers ... another oil consumer. But in fact, even with fertilizers the nutrients contained within many crop is dropping.

        Fear is the Mind Killer

        by boophus on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:56:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Spot on... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, blueoasis

      I try to get across to people that even tiny rises in mean global temperature means more energy in global weather systems, and the resultant chaos.

      Tornadoes in Brooklyn? Hello!

      What th' heck do I know, I work for a living...

      by SamuraiArtGuy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:37:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How quickly they forget (0+ / 0-)

        There have been a lot of tornadoes on the E. Seaboard lately.

        It used to be they might get water spouts on the bays, but these are tornadoes on land, which are much stronger.

        Some people will keep, not getting it, until it kills them.

  •  Most people DO NOT understand the effects of (34+ / 0-)

    even mildly extreme weather on food production. Rice production falls fairly quickly as nighttime temps rise only a few degrees. Corn shuts down as you stated. How about corn popping in their husks in the Midwest (was that two years ago?). Violent weather as you said is not necessarily confined to areas primarily effected. We were slaughtered by Hurricane Irene, a non wind event that just parked itself and dumped 13 inches of water over a huge swath of NY and Vermont. Can't grow much that way.

    “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

    by the fan man on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 06:36:02 AM PST

    •  I don't know how you can convince people (32+ / 0-)

      who never leave their suburban safety bubbles. Because then it's just words. They relegate these stories to He said-she said issues, and that minimizes the gravity of these words.

      I think that some will figure it out shortly. With so many people trying to garden, a few humiliating failures due to bizarre weather conditions might start to wake some of these people up. Maybe.

      Or they just might give up on gardening and never give it another thought.

      As for the Tornado Outbreaks, these are hitting old, established communities. So the Tornadoes are occurring way outside their usual tracks, repeatedly.

      That is strange, but once again, most people are so caught up in their own bubble, they might ooh and ah when they see the television coverage, but quickly forget about it when the next big story comes along.

      I think one way we can combat this ignorance is to have school children participate in Citizen Science Projects like Project BudBurst.

      Having people get intimate with their local environment through constant monitoring for a couple of seasons would make a big difference. Especially if schools posted previous years data and had scientists involved in these projects lecture at the schools at least twice a year to explain regional outcomes and observances and how the kid's work plays into that.

      This empowers individuals and connects them to nature in a way that teaches them how to observe.  It also gives them a baseline of information and a vocabulary to describe what they are seeing in specific terms.

      Just my thoughts.

      •  sadly, those same people (7+ / 0-)

        protest when their children are taught Lies the truth in school

      •  This is a brilliant idea! (6+ / 0-)

        I flashed on volunteering at our elementary school and taking classes out to their grounds and environmental lab the way I used to with my kids. what fun!

        Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

        by Smoh on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:39:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I ran across a scary little fact recently. (13+ / 0-)

        Photosynthesis stops working at about 104 F (40 C).  So if you are gardening or farming and you DON'T have a drought or flood, your plants will not grow much because they can only photosynthesize mornings and late afternoons, not in the sunniest part of the day.  

        Renewable energy brings national global security.     

        by Calamity Jean on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:53:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup. Scary isn't it? Read on: (9+ / 0-)
 temperature rises, photosynthetic activity in plants increases until the temperature reaches 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The rate of photosynthesis then plateaus until the temperature hits 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit), whereupon it begins to decline, until at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), photosynthesis ceases entirely. 21

          The most vulnerable part of a plant’s life cycle is the pollination period. Of the world’s three food staples—rice, wheat, and corn—corn is particularly vulnerable. In order for corn to reproduce, pollen must fall from the tassel to the strands of silk that emerge from the end of each ear of corn. Each of these silk strands is attached to a kernel site on the cob. If the kernel is to develop, a grain of pollen must fall on the silk strand and then journey to the kernel site. When temperatures are uncommonly high, the silk strands quickly dry out and turn brown, unable to play their role in the fertilization process.

          The effects of temperature on rice pollination have been studied in detail in the Philippines. Scientists there report that the pollination of rice falls from 100 percent at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 degrees Celsius) to near zero at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to crop failure

          Plan B 2.0: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble

          You didn't hear me say it, because you get killed here, but we will need genetic technology, not necessarily transgenic crops, but we will need the technology to survive WHILE we get our CO2 levels under control.

          “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

          by the fan man on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:30:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My objection to GMOs (5+ / 0-)

            is that I feel that the research is still in it's infant stages. And I feel that companies that do not have a good track record for ethical business models are mostly calling the shots and doing so at the expense of our genetic diversity and our pollinator and insectivore populations.

            Otherwise, I am right there with you FanMan.

            However what has been found in recent studies is that microRNA  are being transmitted by GMOs to the people who eat them.

            Scary Stuff!

            We are setting ourselves up for a multitude of big failures here because money has trumped good sense.


            •  There are more than a few non-proprietary (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              maybeeso in michigan, kyril, wonmug

              GMO crops out there, maybe the most successful is sub-1 rice, able to withstand long flooding and successfully adopted in cooperation with and by Indian/Nepalese growers. GM is not a panacea, just a tool. The ability to quickly identify the genetic makeup of crops and work their genome is critical. Whether GMO or conventional, breeding a new stable productive variety takes a good ten years from start to finish. A good even handed book on GMOs is "Lords of the Harvest". Monsanto is not as evil as I thought, but god damn arrogant enough for me to take them off my Christmas list. :) If you're a fan of GMOs, you can thank them for singlehandedly screwing the industry for decades.

              We have been selecting, manipulating, spreading and  discarding crop varieties for millennia. One huge difference now is the scale upon which we are discarding seeds at the same time as we lose small holder farms that are most likely keeping old varieties in production. Crop scientists have known this since the fifties, we just haven't been informed of their work. The other fact we are never told about is the work these scientists are doing not just to develop highly productive crops that need tender care and lots of fertilizer/pesticides, but crops that can be abused by nature, grown in poor soils and are still more productive than older varieties.

              The political debacle came in the seventies when developed countries scaled back or stop funding public plant breeding research, leaving it up to the private sector to take over. The biggest complaint I have with GMOs is what it did to the seed industry. It put the process of acquisition that was already under way on steroids. There are four companies that own most of the seed stock in the world. That's not healthy.

              “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

              by the fan man on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:48:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am sorry but GMOs are not like regular hybrids (3+ / 0-)

                A hybrid crop is a crop in which parent plants are chosen in which the male can pollinate the female and produce viable seed that can also reproduce.

                GMOs are created in the lab. A fish cannot mate with a tomato.  That is not a hybrid plant in the classical sense and it is intellectually disingenuous to lead people to believe that it is.

                Gene Splicing and Recombinant DNA are not the same as plant breeding.

                I can breed plants in my closet with primitive tools and a little patience. If I wanted to create a GMO, I would need a lot of money and a fancy lab and expertise that probably cost as much to acquire as that lab.

                And I agree- 4 companies holding a monopoly on anything is not good. But when it comes to food sources--even more so--as in terribly bad.

                •  Not all GMOs are transgenic, you know that. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  home solar, kyril

                  Sub-1 rice is a "switched on gene" that's already present. It is a GMO, just one you might not have an objection to. GMO papayas are doing just in the Pacific by the way. It took scientists only 50 years to catch up with the GMO papaya. It also isn't what I was driving at. What I was saying is we have been tossing crop varietals we no longer have use for for quite some time. Its the scale that is frightening.

                  I can breed plants in my closet with primitive tools and a little patience.
                  You can't breed new grains in your closet with primitive tools and patience, that is disingenuous. It takes crossing and back breeding for years with extensive knowledge of the plant and its characteristics. Think you're going to beat wheat fungus UG-99 in your closet or backyard?? Are you serious? Potato blight? Do you really think hybrid breeding doesn't take advantage of labs? How about cloning like bananas and most other tree fruit? You're dreaming if you think we can turn the clock back and feed ourselves at the population we have today by breeding varieties w/o "labs". "Labs" are not "bad" and that includes the one scratching her ear in my living room.

                  “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

                  by the fan man on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:49:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I never said labs were bad (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Hybridizing should not be represented as synonymous with gene Splicing.

                    And with all things--

                    Actions speak louder than words.

                    I think that sometimes Scientists are naive in believing that the corporations that hire them are going to apply their creations and discoveries in a benign fashion.

                    If only that were true.

                    But mission creep prevails.

                  •  While I largely agree with you.... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    the fan man

                    ...There's a bit of an error in your argument.

                    New strains of plants certainly can be developed at home -- even for things like resistance to wheat fungus and potato blight.  However, most people don't have anywhere near the square footage needed to do this on a methodical basis in a relatively short time.  To do it efficiently, you need to grow out thousands of plants at a time, particularly if you're searching for mutations -- but sometimes people hit the lottery and happen to get a mutant that survives a blight or whatever.  Once you have that individual, it's just a matter of crossing and back-crossing and growing out a smaller batch of plants and subjecting them to whatever stressor you're breeding for resistance against and selecting new parents from those that survive best.

                    ...Then, of course, there're things like atomic seeds, which is basically genetic engineering with a shotgun -- but that's how we got several popular varietals of plants, including seedless oranges, AFAIK.

                    •  In theory, you're correct, except, wheat fungus (0+ / 0-)

                      mutates rapidly, in fact so fast that scientists are working on "defense in depth" and a strategy that allows the fungus to claim its victim but so slowly that farmers can harvest before the bug destroys the plant. Potato blight is similarly intractable. A GMO resistant potato was produced but withdrawn because it was toxic in animal experiments.

                      My library includes a book on breeding your own vegetables, I think it's an important skill people should at least be aware of. For the big stuff, scientists will need to rely on genomics to back up what they do in greenhouses and fields. I'm aware of atomic mutations, star ruby grapefruit is another. :)

                      “The first principle [in science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman

                      by the fan man on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 04:39:42 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  Wow! I want a link to that ! (0+ / 0-)

          If you know where to find it again OR

          If it's in a text book, give us a little quote with an author, title and page number [pretty please?]

          Because that is scary!

      •  Sounds good to me. But I believe you (5+ / 0-)

        are right about it's needing to hit people personally. Oh, no tomatoes today? No apples? Why are watermelons $15 this summer? Why is a gallon of water, plain old water, $3.?

        That might have a bit of effect--if the true reasons were told.

        Your story here is great and I'm sure if people heard some of these things minds would open.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:48:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's a big reason food prices are spiking (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ilyana, Gorette

          wheat and rice are still affected by the weather from the summer of 2010 and the flooding then and in 2011.
          "Hundred year" events are happening every year, in many places. There is not enough good growing weather in between disasters for food crops and food prices to recover. This will accelerate steadily.
          we are already starting to pay the toll for our irresponsible stewardship of the planet, every time we go to the grocery store.

          Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

          by kamarvt on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 07:36:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  If you like growing tomatoes you might (6+ / 0-)

      know that as with other plants I'm sure, the temperature at night must be within a certain range to set fruit. Too hot at night or too cool, no tomatoes will be formed by the flowers.

      Here in N. Central Florida I cannot grow any tomatoes. Either it is too cool, or then way too warm at night. I've tried for years, and when I lived in Massachusetts back in the early 80's I had an abundance of tomatoes that I canned so I do know how.

      And it keeps getting warmer and warmer here. Last summer we had high 90's and 100 for weeks on end without relief. It wasn't that way when I first moved here ten years ago.

      "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

      by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:45:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sometimes it's the pollinators that are missing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You can try using an artist's paint brush to move pollen from one flower to another.

        I don't know the link, but in China, they do this on a large scale.

        This is if you don't set fruit.

        Science is hell bent on consensus. Dr. Michael Crichton said “Let’s be clear: The work of science has nothing to do with consensus... which is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right,”

        by Regina in a Sears Kit House on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:07:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are whole areas in China (0+ / 0-)

          That do not have pollinators, or birds or amphibians, because the land is so toxic.

          The First time I read about that was in a really excellent book called Fruitless Fall by Rowan Jacobson. He was focusing on CCD.

          That is not a world you want to live in.

          In addition to this being a disaster for our wildlife, because when specialist pollinators die, their plants die with them. But also I cannot imagine the absence of thousands of singers on my plants or out in the wild. All singing sutras like monks.

          What kind of world would that be without that music? Beyond the obvious loss of food, there would be a romantic, spiritual component that would be lost as well.

          There are boom and bust years, so I have experienced that temporarily due to drought or unusual cold snaps or unnaturally wet years--and each time was both alarming and sad.

    •  Minor Changes in Weather Can Have Extreme (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, blueoasis, mightymouse

      effects on food production.  Small changes in temp and/or precipitation can cause crop failures.  

      This is what people need to understand.  "Climate change" doesn't have to be "extreme" to kill billions of people.  

  •  40 acres and a mule is what it used to take (31+ / 0-)

    to feed a family. There aren't very many people who could manage that any more- I certainly couldn't. With better crops available and better farming strategies that could be cut down to several acres now, but it is still more than most people could manage.

    I can provide our family with fresh produce during the summer without much trouble from my garden, but I can't meet our calorie needs, much less lay up enough to get through the winter. Of course, if there were hundreds of millions of starving people roaming the country, it wouldn't matter how much I could raise. Someone would come by and take it.

    The survivalists are nuts.

    •  There are intensive gardening practices (14+ / 0-)

      that one could use. BUT.
      [and this is a big but]

      It takes knowledge and skill and a green house.

      Hail and high winds will tear that up as well and plant it on your neighbor's roof.

      40 acres. I don't think I could afford that even without a house on it! Not even I chose to live in a trailer instead.

      Of course it appears this might be in part due to this:

      and yes, they are nuts.

      •  Even under ideal conditions (14+ / 0-)

        growing 100% (or even a high percentage) of your food would require an incredible amount of work.  It's relatively easy to grow veggies, but high-protein crops (grains, seeds, legumes) require a lot of land, and animals (for meat or milk) need to be fed, which requires additional land.  And work.
            I know whereof I speak -- I went back to the land in 1970 and am still there.  I can't imagine living any other way, but my romantic fantasies are long gone.  A truly sustainable lifestyle would require an individual or family to live with a bare minimum of money and fossil fuel inputs.  It could theoretically be done, IMO, within an ideal community living in an ideal location, but "ideal" locations, no matter where they are located, are vulnerable to chaos emanating from the cities.  I think we will all sink or swim together for the most part, and that it's impossible to predict, at this point, who is most likely to survive.
           I am totally bonded with my land and my lifestyle but I don't think they offer much, if any, protection.  I just try to live a decent life, meditate when I remember to, and bear in mind that this whole shebang is far beyond our pitiful human powers of understanding.

    •  I have had a lifelong fantasy about surviving the (8+ / 0-)

      apocalypse (science fiction buff).  Over the course of 40 years, I have come up with elaborate plans about collection and storage of medications; books on all things medical, how to books - canning, drying food, tanning skins, making know it; security (armed) with border patrol; raising just goes on and on and on.  I have one stumbling block - all the seeds currently in use are hybrids which, I believe, produce mules - the grain is edible, but won't reproduce.  There are seed depositories for every botanical thing the world in Iceland and another place, but how to get there?  I'm told Indian corn is the only native unfucked up with seed we have.  It's a start.  If I were to paint a full picture of what I have mentally created over 40 yrs, it would take pages

      Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

      by Smoh on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:52:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can grow vegetables (7+ / 0-)

      or raise livestock. But the staple of our diet is carbohydrate. Wheat, rye, corn, barley. The home gardener can't feasibly provide for the flour needs of a household.

      •  Reminds me of Vincent Van Gogh's (5+ / 0-)

        "Potato Eaters."

        Pioneers figured out how to do that but it takes all your time and then some to manage all the very hard work of subsistence farming.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:52:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is a very grim picture that, forgot to say. n/t (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew F Cockburn, kyril, blueoasis

          "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

          by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:53:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  it becomes your life (15+ / 0-)

          I grew up poor on a farm (10 acres) in N. Central Texas, between Rhome and Decatur.  We had a 2 acre garden and thats all us 3 kids did was tend it.  That was our food, and one bad hail storm or wind or too much rain or not enough or a freak early freeze was devastation to our food supply. Late Spring would find us eating whatever was left in the freezer and canning until those first new peas and potatoes and early greens came in.  That was always the best meal of the year.  Five of us lived in a 12x60' trailer where the toilet froze one winter because we ran out of propane and didn't have the $ to fill.  That was winter camping - we cooked outside on a wood fire for I can't remember how long - a week? more? until we somehow got some gas.

          I really appreciate Green Mother writing this diary, because I too find it hilarious (in a black comedy sort of way...) that these armchair warriors think they can live from their backyard garden.  I think its a great idea that everyone grow one, if only for a reality check and a few good tomatoes/peppers/chilis, but it's a whole 'nother world to depend on what you can grow.  You watch the weather and the local garden eaters (bunnies, gophers, etc...) like an sob when it's YOUR food out there.  
          Thanks Green Mother for taking the time to write this excellent diary.  Rene

          Do the best you can.

          by home solar on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:53:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You sound hard core! (8+ / 0-)

            I am glad you all made it. And thanks for the cool comment.

            I have noticed that moles and gophers love red and purple potatoes but not the white ones.

            Go figure! Those are my favorites too!

            Shield Bugs are the bane of my existence!

            •  hey, I didn't expect a reply! (7+ / 0-)

              I'm actually at work, so this is short.  I have yet to write my own diary, but am always grateful for those that do.  We have 10 chickens now and live in town (White Rock, NM) but my kids 7 and 13 know how to plant a garden.  The hens are great btw for grasshoppers, squash bugs, tomato worms, etc, but you have to watch that they don't eat all your lettuce.  Eggs are tasty too.

              Our cat has been death on the gophers and moles, but I'm not fooling myself that we could make it without civilization.  Clean water will run out before the food does, I think, or the first crazy with a gun would get me for my chickens and chili crop!  Cheers, and good on you for writing.  Rene

              Do the best you can.

              by home solar on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 03:08:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I found that picking up the 5 gallon buckets (2+ / 0-)

              from restaurants to plant potatoes is fabulous. You plant em at the bottom and keep adding soil to get a loing underground length for potatos to grow on. Then you just dump em out  when they're ready. It recycles those buckets and at least helps to keep down the depradations by underground feeders. I think it would also help with water.

              Fear is the Mind Killer

              by boophus on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:03:29 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Depends on the plot size. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Joieau

        An oft-cited statistic is that you need an acre of garden per year per person.  I think that if you're jsut growing potatoes for starches, you can get by with less, but it's been a while since I've reviewed that information.

        It's better for most people to simply garden up those plants that're more expensive, to aim to reduce but maybe not eliminate what they need to purchase.  But if you're gardening for survival, go with root vegetables: potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, turnips, beets, etc.  They tend to give the greatest yield per square foot with the least amount of labor and store very well.  Also, since herbs are inexpensive to grow but relatively expensive to buy, plant a whole bunch of those, if only so you have something to make your root stew taste more interesting.

        Now, if you can keep a small flock of chickens, that will help your food security with minimal effort and investment.  Depending on the breed and their health and environmental factors, six chickens will net you 3-6 eggs/day, and they can live off of garden waste, foraging for bugs, and kitchen scraps during most of the year.

        It's unrealistic to expect to fully fulfill your food needs unless you live on an acre or more and work your garden as a full-time job.  It's more realistic to use a garden to reduce the amount of money that you have to spend on food, to ensure a supply of things you like but cannot find easily on store shelves, and to trade or sell with/to others for either produce they grow or for money.

    •  Not that much - 40 acres (5+ / 0-)

      was large enough for market farmers - supposedly make enough to pay the landowner's "rent" and pay back to the landowner or the bank what was borrowed to get started (seeds, etc) as well as grazing and grain for the mule.

      Just purely for the family can be done on 5 - and that includes 1-1/2 acres for livestock (a couple of dairy goats plus poulty), 2 acres for wood lot, and a 1/2 acre for a "pocket orchard" - but your heavy carb is likely to be mostly potatoes with a little flint corn for your "bread" products.  Hope you've got a creek on the property line and that creek has blackberry bushes on the banks.

      Note: I can't do this myself - I have a "black thumb" so it's all from book stuff.  However I live on a 1/3 acre lot and once had a Korean exchange student stay with me who said my back yard was about as big as his family's "farm" back home.

      •  Not many homesteaders (0+ / 0-)

        make a living at it (we sure don't, and we've been here 20 years), but you can provide enough for yourself to cut your consumption levels very significantly. Maybe even survive if a time ever comes when you have to.

        I've about an acre of garden, but that's terraced so square footage is less. I grow enough of some things than we've still got some from last year as I prep the beds for spring plantings this year. But certainly not everything we eat. Need goats for milk, some chickens, would love to have bees. Maybe this year...

        Lucky for our 13-20 acres ("more or less" in mountain terms) to be surrounded by fields and forest, in one of the most abundant regions on the planet. It's early March but we've had no real winter this year. So chickweed and purslane and dandelions and ramps and wild onions and red mint are up and advertising themselves, fresh salad and super late-winter vitamin tonic! In another couple of weeks there will be violets, forsythia, apple/pear blossoms, sorrel and... morels! I harvest acorns in the fall, make meal/flour I add to breads. Ground nuts, wild berries when I can beat the bears to the patch, plenty of edible greens and shoots and 'shrooms. Plus native brown trout and crawdads in the creeks...

        I know part-time farmers in the valley (have day job, will still farm) who specialize, more trading than selling usually happens at the tailgate markets. Almost everybody grows some of something, town or country. No one should be going hungry here - so I started a project about a dozen years ago called "Grow A Row" (for the local Kiwanis and regional food banks) for an after-school program that went on and on without me. Now they have canning parties and I lectured last year on making solar food dryers from salvage materials...

        Nobody can really do everything for themselves. Even if the world were crazy... er, crazier than it is now, and we had no government at all, people would still need people in order to survive. I like to think we're capable of that much.

    •  Ah, but if you really (0+ / 0-)

      got into it, haunted your local farmer's and tailgate markets and extension meetings, got to know some folks, you might get to know someone with 80 acres and a tractor who grows wheat. Or corn. Or both. Someone who has 20 acres of beans or pumpkins...

      Not reasonable for everyone, but if you've got the means to clean, store and grind at home, buying staples by the bushel from a neighbor down the valley works. Trading off veggies with a neighbor works too - tomatoes for squash or beans, peppers for greens, etc.

      Maybe "nuts," but that's... surviving.

  •  I found a story on the Huffpo (25+ / 0-)

    Extreme Drought in TX causing bizarre bird migration issues:

    Some birds are wintering in MN where it has been in the 40s and locals have reported blooms on trees already.

    Other birds flew all the way to Belize to over winter.

    This is in addition the recent impact on migrations caused by the Gulf Gusher--effects that are still being felt on that ecosystem if the recent unusual marine mammal deaths are any indicator.

    One thing I forgot to mention: WildFires.

    That is a big threat now all over the State. Drought, and dry brush and scrub oak mixed with resinous trees like red cedar make for high heat fuel and fast moving fires blown by 40 and 50 MPH winds.

    We have evacuated our home several times. As a child, that never happened. We still had grass fires, but perhaps even in the droughts, it wasn't this bad. Or maybe it was just less populated and so there were fewer houses to burn?

    Whatever--look at the fires in TX last year. They were catastrophic!

    •  That's right! Fires, just the treat, terrifying! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I live in an area where we have them and have had a long drought here in N. Florida. A combination of fog and smoke caused a horrific accident here recently with many killed.

      It's one thing that scares me to death. They go so fast.

      "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

      by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:55:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  great diary making the connection (16+ / 0-)

    between thinking globally and acting locally. Thanks.

    The world is on pace for 11 degrees F warming. Nothing else in politics matters. @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:20:18 AM PST

  •  It does not help your credibility (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, PatriciaVa

    to make claims unsupported by evidence.  If we hope to get action on climate change we need realistic assessments and not panic-mongering that is easy to debunk.

    There is no trend in violent tornado frequency in the US:

    There is also no trend in drought frequency in the southwest US.  Climate global circulation models predict increasing drought frequency but there is no evidence in the records of any trend at this time.  The 1930s drought was the most severe event in the past 300 years for that region.

    Anecdotes are not data.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:54:31 AM PST

    •  Are you sure? (9+ / 0-)

      And there is NOAA

      "ScienceDaily (June 19, 2008) — The U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research has released a scientific assessment that provides the first comprehensive analysis of observed and projected changes in weather and climate extremes in North America and U.S. territories. Among the major findings reported in this assessment are that droughts, heavy downpours, excessive heat, and intense hurricanes are likely to become more commonplace as humans continue to increase the atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases."
      New NASA Website Sheds Light on Science of a Warming World.

      NOAA and NASA?


      •  NOAA doesn't say that current tornado patterns or (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Frank Knarf, kyril

        droughts are due to global warming. It says that global warming is likely to influence them in the future. You guys seem to be talking past each other here.

      •  Projected, are likely, exactly my point. (0+ / 0-)

        There is no observational evidence that these projected phenomena have occurred.  The projections are based on model output.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:59:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Whatever Frank (6+ / 0-)

          I am going with this as a large factor in the intensity, the frequency and the change in tracking.

          But I just live in Tornado Alley--so you know, my interests in this are purely theoretical.

          Did you even get to the part about Night Time Temps?

          •  Perhaps I understand stats better than you (0+ / 0-)

            But there is no difference in intensity, frequency, or change in tracking that I can see in his data. (And what the hell happened in 1974? Geez).

            I live in tornado alley too, and my experience correlates with yours - storms do seem to be more intense than I remember. But the data he sites shows that I'm wrong. That's why we use the scientific method - because we are so good at fooling ourselves.

            It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

            by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:38:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps the data needs to be examined (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Or the Methodology.

              One thing that is not helping, is that developers here are building neighborhoods in areas that are known, regular tornado tracks.

              You can look at maps going all the way back to the 1900s.

              And they don't even install storm shelters.

              You would be shocked at the number of people who will pay 250 thousand dollars or more on a brand new McMansion, but are too cheap to install a shelter or saferoom!

              We were poor, when I was a kid, we just couldn't afford one. And we aren't rich now, but 2800 dollars isn't an insane amount of money compared to the mortgage one would pay for those fancy houses.

              However, I will say again, the Tornadoes are happening more often in months out of the regular season, they track longer, have higher wind speeds, and the whole template appears to be moving more to the North and East during regular Tornado Season and to the South and East during the tertiary winter "season."

              The tracks are shifting almost a whole state or two over. Which is why established communities in the true south are getting hammered seemingly out of the blue with these EF4s.

              Normally when they get twisters, they are smaller and weaker. Not like the monsters we get here in the flatlands.

              •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

                Sorry for the condescending lede. Thanks for not taking me to task over it; I deserved it.

                It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

                by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:58:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am tired of being a grump (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  maybeeso in michigan, blueoasis

                  It depresses me.

                  That is no guarantee I won't be one tomorrow.

                  But do you ever get tired of just being bitchy?

                  It feels like everyone is yelling simultaneously at each other " NO ONE IS LISTENING TO ME!"

                  and it just goes down hill from there.

                  I am listening.

                  I am doing my best to mitigate whatever I can.

                  I want to be supportive of Science and Scientists, but that cannot happen at the expense of my personal sovereignty.

                  You made a similar point several posts upward.

              •  I think it is clear that the patterns have shifted (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There may not be more storms but as you have pointed out, they seem to have moved east.  My folks live in the panhandle of OK.  This is good news for them.  But pretty much bad news for the rest of the country.  Because it is very sparsely populated out where they are at.  Those monsters used to rip through there quite regularly and only occasionally hit anything.

                Now that the pattern seems to have shifted eastward, they are in a much more target rich environment.  There may not be more of them, they may not even be stronger.  But they are going to cause a lot more damage.  And I would contend that these sorts of disruptions of long standing patterns are the sort of things you should expect when you start perturbing a complex non-linear system.

                •  There is a big difference in watching (0+ / 0-)

                  storm chasers going through the panhandle where it's mostly cattle fields and crops as far as the eye can see, occasionally dotted with a home or outbuildings.

                  And places like Joplin or Little Rock, where it's neighborhoods of houses crammed together on city lots.

                  If you have a clue about who super cell storms track, you can predict it's track by it's point of origin.

                  These storms appear to be making new tracks or at least using ones that haven't been seen since we started recording the phenomena.

                  You throw in the kind of ignorance people have about the intensity of these storms, and the hazards they present--and if it hits a neighborhood full of greenhorns, it's going to be a massacre.

                  People just do not take cover in a timely fashion. And They think that these monsters will never hit them. They never bet on the collateral damage of straight line winds, large hail, dangerous lightning, flash flooding or even falling debris.

    •  and once again: (9+ / 0-)

      The actions that we could collectively take to stem the affects of Global Climate Change would have such beneficial effects on our local ecosystem and quality of life, that they should be adopted for those reasons in the absence of agreement between The Smokers and the rest of us.

      •  So why don't proponents of Climate Change adopt... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Frank Knarf, chimene

        ...those proposals?

        If Climate Change is the danger to our society that Richard Branson argues it is, why is he financing a billion dollar project to send tourists to subspace for a few minutes, expending more CO2 than a cross country airline trip from LA to Boston?

        Why are so many pols taking Gulfstreams to climate conferences in Dubai when Cisco Telepresence would serve the same purpose?

        Why are so many former pols living in 3x the square feet than they did just 20 years ago?

        If they want us to emit less CO2, shouldn't they lead by example?

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

        by PatriciaVa on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:38:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because this is a globe and people live in (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maybeeso in michigan, blueoasis

          different areas.

          Unfortunately talking on the phone and e-mails can be ignored. Snail mail can be "filed" in the circular file. So it requires face to face meetings.

          Besides, our national and global infrastructure was established on fossil fuels some 60 years or more ago. So they are having to utilize and change a system and a culture that is not only set in it's ways, but offers very few serious alternatives to people who need to travel in a timely manner.

    •  Nitpicking (20+ / 0-)

      While there may be not be a trend of violent tornadoes between March and August (which is what the graph you link to illustrates) there most certainly is a trend for tornadoes overall:

      There is a dramatic, linear rise in the annual number of tornadoes since 1950. Further, tornadoes in February are rare, so the author concluded there is a connection to climate change. While your criticism may be valid in an academic setting, there's no value in criticizing a non-scientist sharing an experience that does likely have some connection to climate change.

      We need to learn how to communicate about climate change. Communications don't revolve around data, they revolve around narratives. Stories like these provide a narrative, and while they may not meet the scientific definition of fact (and really what does?) there is enough truth here to make an effective narrative that communicates the tragic loss of life and liberty climate change will place on all of us over time.

      Run for office. It's fun!

      by Alfonso Nevarez on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:32:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow--those are great points (9+ / 0-)

        Thanks for the moral support and the informational links.

      •  Are you sure that the increase in small tornados (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is not due to improved observational capabilities such as the widespread installation of Doppler radars?  That is the explanation that the scientists who actually study this stuff for a living seem to favor.

        Do you really not understand the risks of promoting a narrative that contradicts evidence?

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:03:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why don't you move to Tornado Alley (8+ / 0-)

          for a few years and you tell me.

          Or better yet, ask the people on the Eastern Seaboard North of Alabama about the uptick in Tornadoes in their parts.

          I feel like you didn't even read to the end of the piece.

          You are obsessing on this, and I have pointed out, that the measures one takes to thwart climate change are the same ones a community would take to improve the general health and welfare of their area anyhow, by recycling, and conserving natural resources and instituting pedestrian friendly community planning!

          •  Sigh. I agree with you, generally. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gorette, janislav

            I grew up in tornado country.  Never got hit but a few came close.

            But each time you make a statement of "severe weather event is evidence of catastrophic warming" when there is no evidence to support it you are handing ammunition to those who intend to discredit you.

            I did not comment on night temperature increase precisely because there is observational evidence that some of the increase is due to global warming.

            Where are we, now that we need us most?

            by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:25:00 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But Frank, she makes a lot of points (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Leftcandid, home solar, blueoasis

              understandable in human terms that at least can get people to think about the problem. Which is needed because many or most articles are too technical for a lot of people to want to read, I believe. One need not be an expert in every dimension of a problem to write about other aspects that one lives through.

              Seems pretty fact based to me.

              Why not offer to collaborate on a diary that would pass your muster, or have you written your own diaries on climate change?

              "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

              by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:01:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I need to write one. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                The point I have tried to make in many comments is that exaggerations and unsupported claims do more harm than good.  Why give your opponents the opportunity to demonstrate that you are uninformed or to claim that you are using scare tactics?  They may try to undermine you anyway but at least having facts on your side is of some use.

                Where are we, now that we need us most?

                by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:46:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Frank, the people who really dislike (4+ / 0-)

                  the things that I stand for, would attack me no matter what.

                  It wouldn't matter if I blamed climate change on space mice eating the moon of green cheese or if I put together the best most scientifically accurate presentation ever.

                  I agree that it helps credibility. But you will note that one thing I did not try to claim was Scientific Expertise.

                  So I would still be an easy to target to anyone who hadn't had their second cup of coffee yet.

                  And I am not exaggerating. You might feel otherwise, but honestly--Not making anything out to be worse than it has been right here in my backyard.

                  And why isn't my narrative good enough, for what it's worth as a lay person?

                  Why aren't my direct observations good enough?

                  I am not looking for a peer review here, I am looking to connect with people who feel like I do about this larger matter, who hopefully want to do something about it.

                  The lines have already been drawn, long before I got involved in this. The country is already polarized. My anecdotal material isn't going to make anything worse in that respect. But it might be culturally relevant to some, so that they might consider other possibilities.

                  •  You made an excellent case there! (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Exactly! Thank you! There's such a thing as a convincing argument from the heart and home that makes the case like nothing else can.

                    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

                    by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:54:34 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

          •  I noticed an uptick here (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sockpuppet, blueoasis, mamamedusa

            which is not a tornado prone area, in the early to mid 90's.

            and screw the "scientists", anecdotal evidence is overlooked and suppressed because they never get around to it all of it and the insurance companies don't want the info getting out. I've lived through it. You wouldn't believe the level of collusion.

            •  You are correct. The NOAA tornado data (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              is a product of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  Anecdotes are data.  Scientists are idiots.  Ignorance is bliss.

              Where are we, now that we need us most?

              by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:58:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hope you never have to make a claim (4+ / 0-)

                for a tornado in a sparsely populated area. If you knew anything about how these things get reported and what the procedures are you wouldn't be so cavalier.

                If it doesn't make the news, it doesn't exist. If multiple houses aren't flattened it doesn't make the news. If a bunch of trees in a forest get sawed off by the force of tornadic wind, it doesn't count. If bricks fly off your chimney 30 feet from the house, your house is a shack.  If your porch roof is sucked up and the rafters are cracked, your house is a shack. If your paint and siding gets shredded by accompanying hail, your house is get the picture. If your house is seriously messed up by an event and it isn't flattened, you face an uphill battle and years of legal headaches.

                As for "scientists". Most of the scientists [I'm not even sure they're scientists, they are people  hired to go out and interview storm victims IF storm victims make a report] go out and listen to anecdotal retellings of events. It's not all Doppler and graphs and charts. A 90mph isolated gustnado isn't getting on the radar or the Fujita scale but it can severely damage houses, trees and cars. Not all tornadoes are big whoppers. Around here, the little ones wreak havoc and are busted up by the hilly terrain. Even right here, 200' from where I sit, a tornado cut a 2' diameter tree at about 10' above the ground like a saw. It missed my neighbors' house which is about 20' away. There weren't any scientists involved. It's not on any chart, it never appeared on any Doppler. It wasn't in the paper or on TV. I saw it and heard it. The tree took out electricity for half a day.

                •  If you have evidence that these events are more (0+ / 0-)

                  frequent, please get in touch with NOAA and let them know.

                  Where are we, now that we need us most?

                  by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:40:09 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  someone more prominent can (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Words In Action
                    "In my career I have never seen this many tornadoes or this many fatalities," said Joshua Wurman, the lead tornado researcher and president of the Center for Severe Weather Research. He is more widely known for his role as the scientist on the Discovery Channel's "Storm Chasers" show.

                    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:05:47 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  From the same article: (0+ / 0-)

                      "Climate change? No,” said Howard Bluestein, professor of meteorology at University of Oklahoma. "This is something that happens every 10 or 20 years when everything comes together like this. This is just natural variability.”

                      "Most meteorologists agree with Bluestein."

                      You can read the NOAA data and annotations as well as anyone, I'm sure.

                      Where are we, now that we need us most?

                      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:17:45 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  yes (4+ / 0-)

                        some agree it is happening, including kevin trenberth, who says it is irresponsible not to mention climate change, and some don't. and it accords with an increasing body of research on what we can expect. but as usual, you are engaged in denialist nitpicking.

                        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                        by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:32:15 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's his M.O. on climate change. (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Laurence Lewis, blueoasis, WheninRome

                          He doesn't have to win any arguments, so long as he can spread doubt.

                          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

                          by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:15:26 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Well it's a free country (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Laurence Lewis

                            I think it is clear, that I am not doubtful.

                          •  climate denialism (3+ / 0-)

                            is not welcome here.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:20:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Back to name-calling again so soon? (0+ / 0-)

                            The tornado statistics say what they say.  So do the tropical cyclone statistics.  All the GCMs predict what they predict.  Doesn't anyone remember the flap about hurricanes after "An Inconvenient Truth"?

                            Where are we, now that we need us most?

                            by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:25:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  do you ever (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Words In Action, blueoasis

                            post anything confirming the scientific consensus? i have seen you promote unsubstantiated rumors that circulate only on denialist sites. i have seen you criticize hansen and romm and link to mcintyre. you are what you are.

                            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

                            by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:51:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who cares? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            NoMoreLies, wonmug, mightymouse

                            Unless you are an idiot a subject about which I have no opinion, you have to admit that CO2 is a green house gas, in the sense that it has the effect of trapping sunlight resulting in  greater absorption of the incident radiation.  I mean, that is just freshman level physics.  Optics that has nothing to do with climate science that has been known for probably three hundred years.  At least the physical principle which leads to this fact has been understood for hundreds of years.  

                            So what the whole argument comes down to is nit-picking the model makers about the veracity of the result of their model making.  Can we believe them?  Their predictions of the consequences of this simple fundamental physical principle?  They sound so dire and alarmist.  And it is so hard to predict the weather.

                            Here we are in agreement.  I also do not have nearly as much confidence in the model makers as they seem to have.  I think that there is a lot of uncertainty in these models.  Precisely because the climate is such a complex system.  Indeed, the more we understand about complex non-linear dynamic systems the more we understand that uncertainty is part of the territory.  

                            But there is no dispute that there is a correlation between CO2 levels and burning fossil fuels.  There is also no disputing the physics that the higher the CO2 level the more sunlight and therefore energy is trapped beneath the atmosphere.  You can argue about what the result of this increased energy load on the system is.  You obviously would like to believe it is harmless.  But you have to be aware of the fact that this is almost exclusively based on wishful thinking.

                      •  Oklahoma is also an oil and gas state (3+ / 0-)

                        So there are other matters that might influence how the material is shared here.

                        If you like your job, here--you don't go thumbing your nose at the handlers of the biggest cash cow in the state.

                        This is the land of Tom Coburn after all.

                    •  No one has mentioned the new ocean acidification (0+ / 0-)

                      study that got  much press yesterday.  There is an example of a consequence of atmospheric CO2 increase that is both expected by theory and confirmed by observations.

                      Where are we, now that we need us most?

                      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:41:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Okay. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Words In Action, mightymouse

                I'm inclined to agree with you, but I live in SE Michigan and don't need a NOAA study to tell me that in late December, I should be ice fishing, not playing golf. But I have been golfing in late December the last three years. This year, the lakes barely froze over and the ice never did get thick enough to consider it safe. In my 52 years here that has never happened.

                Now, this all may be short term fluky weather patterns, but from from personal perspective, it's starting to look like a trend. This doesn't mean that I'm about to don sackcloth and run around like a crazy evangelist proclaiming the end of the world.

                But it does make one wonder...

                I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

                by itsjim on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:55:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Frank, with respect--- (6+ / 0-)

                What we are seeing here is a major component of the clash that is happening between Scientists and Laity. So I am going to point some things out that are not necessarily issues with you--I don't know you well enough, lets call them Generalized Social Observations.

                Both are comprised of adults who have some skills of observation, the ability to make connections and the authority to make command decisions regarding their own lives.

                It feels like your criticisms are so concrete, that anyone who counters them must be lacking in those basic observational skills.  I cannot tell what you really mean, so I am simply putting this out there.

                From a cultural standpoint, the quickest way to light the fuse on any female's tampon is to tell her it's all in her head or to question her ability to call a spade a spade. I am not going there--I am just offering this as a means to sensitize you to the less than obvious hems you might some day  tread upon.

                For men, the equivalent is calling them a liar or insinuating that they are crazy.

                Remember adult status rests on this notion that adults are not likely to tell a lie, and if they are at large, are hopefully not mentally ill to the point that they are hallucinating.

                Scientists need to get down with this. They need to remind themselves to be respectful of that adult status and perhaps find a better way to get the dialogue going--Grown up to Grown up--rather than Paternal Scientific Type to Idiot Walmartian.

                This is the same issue that erupts between doctors and would-be patients. The doctors insist that research says one thing, but the patient says, "Hey I have lived in this skin for X amount of years and you are full of crap!"
                And then the fight is on.

                And to top it all off, right now there are so many important people with prestigious alphabets and titles behind their names who are pushing their own agendas. Yanking the regular people in so many different directions, that they don't know who is lying and who is telling the truth. And then someone steps in and says something that amounts to "Stupid People of America, let the experts take over, please return to your cells..."

                No one is going to take that well.

                Not me, not you. No one.

                And no one has given us regular folks any good reason why we should allow anyone to take over to that degree.

                Scientists cannot complain that people don't use their brains, and then tell people to shut up every time they make the attempt.

                To the Scientists I would offer: Make up our minds already.

                And if the nights are getting warmer and staying warmer, then wouldn't that shift both the time and location and intensity of super cells? Especially when Gulf Moisture is sucked into that warm air and clashes with the cold air off the upper plains?

                •  Nowhere else on earth has the specific (0+ / 0-)

                  configuration of continent and ocean and jet stream that generates these terrible outbreaks.  Tonight we should just be thankful for the safety of our loved ones and mourn for those not so fortunate.

                  Where are we, now that we need us most?

                  by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 09:42:06 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That is utter sophistry (0+ / 0-)

                    I am a scientist.  What are you a fucking weatherman?  What she said in that post above is crystal clear and you just did the equivalent of pat her on the head.  You are acting like a douche.

                    •  So, a simple statement of fact that agrees with (0+ / 0-)

                      or reinforces the final sentence in the previous comment, followed by a request to think of the welfare of victims, is sophistry?  It is not even an argument.  And where did you come by your revulsion for meteorologists?

                      Or are you suggesting that it is condescending in general to point out that North America has exceptional risk because everyone already knows this?

                      Id' like to let GreenMother speak for herself regarding the tone of my last comment.  

                      Where are we, now that we need us most?

                      by Frank Knarf on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 10:59:54 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  So, let me get this straight Frank (0+ / 0-)

                    I take the time to show you a major, cultural disconnect, and all you can do is try to derail the discussion with this?

                    You are assuming that I am not thankful, or sympathetic.

                    And you failed to address anything in the post.

                    What this post directly above tells me is that I wasted my time.

                    •  I don't agree with your thesis, and since (0+ / 0-)

                      disagreement is viewed as disrespect, I see no point in any further discussion.

                      Where are we, now that we need us most?

                      by Frank Knarf on Sun Mar 04, 2012 at 08:21:22 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Condescension is not the same as disagreement (0+ / 0-)

                        and certainly isn't a sign of respect Frank.

                        So you are right.

                        I tried to talk about other aspects of this disagreement so that perhaps we could get past some of these cultural differences.

                        You chose condescension over communication.

                        further more I acknowledged that we disagreed with each other over cause and effect long before now.

              •  Wait a second (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                If Anecdotal evidence is not admissible in a court of science, why are climate scientists so keen on collecting ships logs and farmer's diaries for their research into creating past climate models?

                Not only were those people NOT scientists, and I am sure by today's standards, their knowledge of nature or science would have been more akin to superstition than fact.

            •  Annecdotal evidence is suppressed (0+ / 0-)

              Because it is so often wrong. We are very good at fooling ourselves.

              It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

              by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:43:35 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  This is a fair question and undoubedly part of the (0+ / 0-)

          answer to the real observed rise in tornado reports. Science must deal first with data. Interpreting the natural signal in the data is complicated when technology provides new input you previously did not have.

      •  Dead wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sorry. We put forth facts. Nothing else. As soon as we start offering anecdotes, we will be attacked from the other side. The facts are on our side here; use them to our advantage.

        The issue isn't the value of the narrative, it's credibility. Our credibility has to be unassailable.

        It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

        by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:42:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That guy's a serial denier. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, mightymouse

        He likes to show up in these diaries and spread doubt.

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:57:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. Some requests. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, Gorette

    If you were to 1. move all the mentions of climate change to the bottom, 2.  start right out with your observations as a farmer, with a mention that you're farming in OK, and 3. allow people to post copies elsewhere, we'll have something that can change minds beyond the choir that is DailyKos.

    •  I am a garderner (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I had relatives who worked on farms or had farms at different times. I wouldn't want to misrepresent what I do now.

    •  DKos is not a choir on this topic. The deniers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, NoMoreLies

      of the extent of the effects, current and projected, are legion, which is why there is so little "concern" exhibited. They don't really believe we're in trouble. They thnik we'll get by with a little sunshade, some stronger umbrellas, and a larger FEMA budget.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:01:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  GreenMother, you are on a roll! (4+ / 0-)

    Might there be a military diary or two in your future?

  •  I used to think (11+ / 0-)

    that it was mostly urban people who were out of touch with nature's rhythms who denied climate change. But many rural people also bury their heads.

    I've lived 58 years in a rural area -- on a farm and in town. I grew up watching the weather and understanding the critical impact a few degrees in temperature or a bit too much or too little precipitation would have on my family's income for the year. Seasons here in the Midwest used to progress at a fairly predictable rate. This winter we had 50 degree temps in December. There were only a couple of night that it dipped below zero. I'm not sure the ground even froze more than an inch or so down. We've had no significant snow until this week and next week's temps are forecast in the 40s and up.

    It was a sad day for me, after years of longing for a normal year, that I finally admitted to myself that I would not see one again except as an anomaly.

    I believe we passed the climate change tipping point decades ago. Not that we could not have halted it during that time but that we didn't realize the severity of the situation and now that some of us do, inertia is too much to overcome.

    Is remediation the answer? Heaven help us but it seems inevitable.

    •  Des Moines, IA Jan 2012 +7.9F. (0+ / 0-)

      Jan 2011 -4.1F
      Jan 2010 -3.7F

      Short memory.

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:04:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  remediation is the answer (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimene, draghnfly

      It's too late to stop this train now, and has been for 20 years.

      I'm all for trying to mitigate the damage, but to pretend that if we all gave up fossil fuels today that the damage would be reversed is just nuts.

      It's not 11th dimensional chess; it's just chess. And he's KICKING YOUR ASS.

      by pneuma on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:46:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think we could cut way back (0+ / 0-)

        Be smarter about them. And eventually eliminate them.

        Already Americans are exporting more fuel than they are using.

        That says a lot.

        •  Americans aren't exporting more fuel than using (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That's a myth that's going around. We're importing a good percentage of our fuel. We're exporting some refined fuel products, but we import on net over 9 million barrels of oil a day. We use far more energy than we're capable of producing here at home, and that doesn't even take into account that our "production" isn't production--it's almost entirely extraction (i.e. drawdown.)

          Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

          by aimlessmind on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:00:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Right but the consequences would be much differ- (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ent if we were able to make huge changes in consumption and emissions.

        For a variety of reasons, however, the right and the vast center will prevent us from doing so.

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:12:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They can prevent "us" but they cannot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          stop You and I.

          Short of closing down every recycling center or cutting off our legs or outlawing bicycles--

          they cannot do this on a personal level.

          Consumers hold a lot of power. They forget that sometimes

          •  Right, and it's socially responsible to do so, but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            even if EVERY single one of us does all of the top dozen or so things commonly cited, that'll account for about 20% reduction in emissions. And that's EVERYONE.

            You really can't get very far with making deeop institutional changes in industry, commerce, the military and government in general.

            And, frankly, there are too many Democrats standing of in the way of that happening.

            This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

            by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:38:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  great diary - thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette, blueoasis

    It's so valuable to hear from people going through this stuff. It's one thing to read "record heat and drought in OK" but something else to hear what it means.

    Do people in rural OK have more respect for the climate now?

    I hope that most people's wake-up call is not the cessation of food trucks to the supermarket.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:27:53 AM PST

    •  Depends what you mean by respect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, blueoasis

      I don't know how they feel about global climate change. This place is known for it's insane weather, so ?

      It takes time to make great paradigm shifts like this. Americans do not traditionally like being told what to do. They prefer to figure things out for themselves.

      Unfortunately certain industries have opportunistically used this character trait to muck things up something awful.

      Remember GCC isn't just about fossil fuel usage and emissions. It's been politicized through the churches as well, as a kind of embrace of NeoPaganism.

      So there are aspects to this issue, nuances that a lot of people miss on the other side.

  •  The gardeners know (7+ / 0-)

    The farmers know.

    Weird weather is bad for crops, period. And global warming is not just going to happen once, in a single step change, and be done.

    It's going to require adaptation after adaptation. Here in the US we may manage to avoid complete collapse - our farmers will have access to diverse seeds, we can build irrigation systems that span states, we can predict what next year's weather will be like with some degree of reliability.

    The worlds 3 billion or so subsistence farmers? They are going to starve. And starving people tend to emigrate, and if they can't emigrate they invade.

    Look for wars over food and water.

    In fact, never forget Kashmir and the headwaters of the Indus. Three nuclear powers (China, India, Pakistan) border Kashmir. All will need that water as the snowfall in the Himalayas diminishes.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'ya aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il ya toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:30:53 AM PST

    •  also the US has the advantage of SIZE, N-S dimensi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark


      areas that have traditionally been too dry or cold MAY produce more (of different crops?) if they get a bit warmer (IF rain patterns come along too).

      areas that have traditionally been almost complete desert MAY become even more appropriate for solar farming, and/or wind-farming and/or algae-farming (for oil & CO2 remediation).

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:44:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Most people also don't understand (7+ / 0-)

    what an immense undertaking would be required to run the planet without fossil based fuels or that we have, in all likelihood, already frittered away too much time for the transition to make a meaningful difference even if we somehow wake up and get serious about it now:

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:32:24 AM PST

    •  well, deciding it's too late to do anything won't (0+ / 0-)

      help either!

      "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

      by chimene on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:44:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think it's probably too late (0+ / 0-)

        but we owe it to ourselves and our children to try. I see no sign that we will.

        "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

        by Sagebrush Bob on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 05:22:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can't recommend this highly enough (10+ / 0-)

    An absolutely wonderful diary, GreenMother. I live on an off-the-grid homestead on the Oregon coast and will soon be moving to a different farm just down the road. I am a big believer that we need to drastically scale back our lives if we're going to have much hope of dealing with a future that's going to sport far less energy and resource-usage.

    But I also recognize that the myth of homesteading your little lone self to sustainability is just that--a myth. It goes hand in hand with the apocalypse myth, which says that everything is going to collapse over night, and which conveniently always seems to end with everyone you dislike being dead and everyone living agreeing with you, and then crafting a new society that features everything you've ever dreamed of. Not going to happen. But I do think we're going to have to deal with collapse, it's just going to happen over multiple generations and probably a couple centuries, which is how the collapse of civilizations have tended to play out in the past.

    All that said, one of the better ways I can figure to put yourself in a better situation to deal with that reality is to learn to use far less energy and resources--to basically engage in a bit of voluntary poverty so you're in a better position to deal with future realities, by not having so far to fall. For me, that means farming and gardening and scaling back, living on very little money, but also--and this is key--integrating into the community. Because you can't do it alone. The basic unit of human survival is the community, not the individual. Good luck finding all your own food, and then going on to providing all the other basics of survival.

    But the interesting thing about community is even that is only a partial safe guard. It's a hedging of bets. As you note, climate change can disrupt all kinds of natural patterns and could wipe out quite a few communities that otherwise seem in good shape. Similarly, as fossil fuels begin to truly decline and become scarce in a way we can't comprehend today, that lack of available energy is also going to put major pressure on a wide variety of communities, and it's going to wipe out plenty of them.That's one of the things I worry about where I am--I don't know how well it's going to do as oil becomes more expensive and scarce. Will we be able to reorient to that reality and continue on with far reduced fossil fuel usage? I'm not sure if we will.

    However, this is the community where I'm making my stand, at least for the time being. There are opportunities here for me, I've started to make my place, and I grew up in the Pacific NW. This area is home for me. Not that I won't move if the situation becomes dire and I have the means, but I'm willing to take my chances here, as well.

    And so that's another piece of the puzzle, which I think you get at with your diary. We need a whole lot of flexibility in our lives, because the future is likely going to follow unpredictable paths and throw a lot of craziness our way. Those who cling to old ways of life are going to be in worse shape, most likely, than those who are willing to change as the circumstances dictate.

    I don't know. It should be a fascinating future, though I worry it's going to be harsh.

    Thanks so much for this diary. It has tons of great info and I hope many here read it and take it to heart.

    Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

    by aimlessmind on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:38:50 AM PST

    •  The problem is that individual, personal changes, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      even if EVERYONE did them, which is absurd, would only amount to a 20% reduction in emissions.

      The real culprit is institutions: industry, commerce, the government, especially the military.

      Substantitve institutional change must occur to head off the worst effects of climate change.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:04:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  While there's truth to this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I would also say that it's coming down anyway. You can't run the industrialized lifestyle that we now consider normal on solar and wind. There are great ways to harness those forms of energy on a very limited, subsistence sort of basis, but that's the extent of what they're going to do in a long term sense.

        All the alternative schemes that are promoted as a way to running something akin to our current lifestyle in a sustainable way are all floating on an underlying industrial infrastructure powered by fossil fuels and only capable of being powered by fossil fuels. So our future is more akin to industrialized nations finding themselves sliding back to energy and resource-usage rates more along the lines of what we charmingly refer to as "third world" countries have. That's the future we're facing, and that's going to be an incredible challenge.

        Climate change is going to create a huge effect on that transition, as is environmental degradation and ecosystem destabilization in general. But I think they'll survive until our energy usage is necessarily constricted to the point that we start living in some way more akin to true sustainability.

        That leaves me more worried about how we all make it through a rough future. Because that's going to be a massive challenge, and there are lots of places it can take very bad, cruel turns. Not that working to limit damage to the environment isn't a good thing, especially in that the more we limit it, the less we further reduce the carrying capacity we've already far overshot. But I think, personally, that figuring out how the hell to live within natural constraints that we keep convincing ourselves don't exist is going to quickly become a much more immediate problem than dealing with environmental devastation.

        Not a pretty picture of the future, granted, but it's what I think is most likely to happen.

        The other reality, in regards to policy, is the fact that pretty much no politicians are willing to question the fundamental myth of progress and the underlying assumption that the only way forward is continued growth, making any policy changes that would seriously negate the damage we're doing to the environment pretty much impossible. If the solution that people are promoting as the opposite of the current paradigm is to go on a massive manufacturing spree of solar and wind technology that's manufactured with the use of fossil fuels, manufactured from fossil fuels, and basically require doubling down on the current paradigm of growth, then we're pretty much screwed, as is the ecosystem. It's just proclaiming the solution to drawdown as being enhanced and sped up drawdown. It's still a dead end path that leads to death and destruction.

        The only way out really is to seriously constrain our own consumption. And I don't see any other way that seriously happens unless it happens with individuals. If there's no demand for industry, they can't fulfill it. If there is demand, they will continue to fulfill it so long as there is energy and resources with which to do it. And no politician in his or her right mind is going to put in place a policy that destroys production if there continues to be demand from the people. They would vote that politician out in a heart beat and vote in someone else to start things back up.

        Which goes back to convincing people to voluntarily scale back their life in a radical way. And you're right, it's almost certainly not going to happen except for a very tiny percentage of the population. Which brings us back to that very not pretty picture.

        For those who do scale back, though, they're going to be a bit ahead of the game when the natural limits kick in with a vengeance. Doesn't mean they're safe, by any means, but they probably have a bit better a chance of getting through some very harsh times.

        Of The Hands - Thoughts on voluntary poverty, homesteading, farming, reconnecting to the land, doing good work, and muddling through the new no-growth economy.

        by aimlessmind on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:13:09 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  True--Communities are key (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aimlessmind, mightymouse

      We seem to have lost sight of that in most places.

      I blame that on time poverty and corporatization.

  •  Great diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Well written.

  •  I think socially we're beyond repair, sadly (4+ / 0-)

    It's March 2. Here in NYC, the only meaningful snow accumulation all winter occurred not in actual winter, but during the last week of October. We haven't had ANY significant accumulation since then. I'm only 25, but grew up in north NJ and can't remember even in my short memory an entire winter without any snow.

    The problem is that the economic and policy powerhouses of this country, namely NYC and DC, benefit from warmer winter weather. Seriously, watch any 6 or 11pm local NYC news during a warm day. The meteorologists gush about how great it is!

    Even in my small network of people, both real live friends and Twitter acquaintances, hardly any complain about the warmer weather. Light jacket and 55 degrees in mid-February: no problem! I'll take advantage and go for a bike ride, and so on. I'm actually really nervous about what the future holds for young people like myself.

  •  In the outyears it will be like another planet... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

     Without a major organized effort to either slow down the warming or develop infrastructure for survival, the individual, household, or commune that wants to make it will need very sturdy weatherproof houses, hydroponic capacity, and enough water storage capacity (cisterns) to survive a prolonged drought.
      It wouldn't hurt to start switching to solar sooner rather than later as well.

  •  well said. well said. (0+ / 0-)
  •  You are right, of course... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But, strictly IMO, we are past the tipping point to prevent climate change. It is going to get ugly before it gets any better.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:47:56 AM PST

    •  If it gets any better. n/t. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, blueoasis
    •  Don't think we'll be seeing it get better for a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      long, long time.

      Most people, including most Democrats, do not understand how late the time is for acting. Nor do they understand what the impact will be 10, 20, 30 and 40 years down the road.

      They won't act and they will resist calls to action, preventing us as a civilization from making responsible, moral choices.

      Billions will be displaced. Millions will dies. Multitudes of species will be lost.

      Because we have too Democrats who, for a variety of reasons, will not join in the struggle in a serious, meaningful way.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:08:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Part of that is due to the Apocalyptic (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis, NoMoreLies, mightymouse


        Some are not motivated because it makes them money and power.

        Others are not motivated because it has been framed in a way to appear to be a waste of effort, because what are they going to save if the end is immanent?

        Haven't you ever wondered why preachers will rail against the green movement in their sermons and have been doing so since the 60s?

        This is the deal: The true form is Plutocracy, but the feeder is Theocracy.  

        •  True. (0+ / 0-)

          Most people don't want to see the truth.

          You know, it wouldn't be so apocalyptic if enough moderates were committed to real change.

          This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

          by Words In Action on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:40:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The absence of insects you note ... (7+ / 0-)

    is not about drought. The same thing is happening everywhere. In Wisconsin in the woods by the lake most summer evenings you can sit and eat your dinner and not see a mosquito. Or a fly.  Nothing splats on the windshield all summer. You can drive past wetlands and just nothing hits the windshield. Global warming is a big part of whatever is happening but it is more and it is worse than just that.

    Thank you for the realism. It's scarce.

  •  Thank you for a wonderful diary and (4+ / 0-)

    for relating the problem to real experiences.

    I mostly despair of people waking up in time.

    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

    by Gorette on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 12:08:32 PM PST

  •  It just isn't Oklahoma (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If your car or truck isn't littered with bug splatter.

    You could drive down the streets at night, and no bugs would hit your windshield.
    Somethin' ain't right on this planet.

    "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

    by nominalize on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:06:44 PM PST

    •  Where are you speaking of? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't need to know the exact location, but a state would be a good start.

      •  I'm speaking of my childhood (0+ / 0-)

        growing up there.  Even in the suburbs of OKC where I lived, getting bugs all over the car when you drove in the warmer months was just a completely normal fact of life.

        It wasn't until I moved out of state that I saw places where you could drive for months without seeing bugs smashed on your windshield or in your grill.

        "You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic."

        by nominalize on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 04:41:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for the post GreenMother (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What you tell is sad, and it fills me with anguish for my children.  But I love that your tone, in your post and in your replies to comments, remains always thoughtful, respectful, and humane.  So thank you for that as well.

    Pneuma and Frank Knarf, you both seem so knowledgeable, I commend each of you.  Your respective comments put me in mind of a lesson from improvisational theater.  In improvisation with another, regardless of what they do or say, the object is to respond, literally or figuratively, with "Yes, and...", not "No," because "No" kills the scene.  Thus it is possible that instead of denigrating or otherwise shooting down, explicitly or implicitly, the assertions, anecdotes, stories, and statements of people with less knowledge or scope of understanding, those people with substantive knowledge could welcome the addition by the lesser informed to the dialogue and simultaneously offer clarification of issues.

    If there is still a possibility of changing the course of our conduct on this planet, it will only happen by a massive will to inclusivity.  But, as we all know, even the longest journey happens step by step.  Just as a collapse will not be overnight, neither will a change for the better.  Inclusivity is a moral habit we must all acquire:  every time we communicate is an opportunity to practice it.  But it ain't easy.

  •  I think it's funny, in the commercial for the new (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    show about doomsday preppers, there's a woman who says, "When things go bad, I'll be the only one around with an extra hundred pounds to lose!"
       ...And she'll just wag her fat finger at all the starving people with their dying kids and their shotguns, and they'll get right off her lawn!

  •  The Zapotecs of Oaxaca (3+ / 0-)

    They live in a very similar way that their ancestors did nearly 2000 years ago. I know because I have excavated ancient houses and lived in modern ones.

    They all take part in subsistence farming, which is supplemented with in home artisan work. They sell or trade the goods in a local market.

    Their way of life is so resilient that it has survived the rise and fall of the Monte Albán state, the Spanish conquest, globalization, and now probably the climate induced collapse.

    Sure, they'll suffer like everywhere else, but they live a very sustainable way of life. I suspect it will survive.

    If my wife wasn't so against it, I would move into one of those small towns and learn how to do it from them. I am losing in the constant growth capitalist model, which breeds selfish greedy people who can't stop talking about products they buy.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 01:49:42 PM PST

  •  Things arent good anywhere.. (2+ / 0-)

    Being in Kentucky today makes that all the more apparent, but it wasnt just today...We didnt have winter. Like at all. Its snowed maybe three times, zero building up the ground.

    Normally in the summer here, we get fireflies...
    ...we didnt get fireflies last year. I know these problems are far from the worst of it but..I really do like fireflies and hope they come back this summer. Its screwed with my health too; the rain here gives me migraines and vertigo. Normally, winter gives me a respite from it but not this year.

    Ive been in a mental haze since december.

    Who knew that, all this time, when people were talking about a panic attack, what they really meant was a nonstop rocket-sled ride to hell itself, where your soul gets sucked through a straw by demons?

    by kamrom on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:06:03 PM PST

    •  Sometimes insect populations (0+ / 0-)

      animal populations in general have boom or bust years.

      Maybe this year will be different.

      But if you are really concerned you can always call the entymologist on staff at your local county extension and see what he or she might know.

  •  Great diary... (0+ / 0-)

    But I think you find that most climate deniers are the very same people who use the land to make a living.  Rural farmer types tend to be conservative and Republican. I've heard OK is the exception because of the large Native American population.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

    by RichM on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:21:51 PM PST

    •  Well I think I would point out that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      even though some people might be religious values voters, not all of them are in lockstep with every plank.

      And I have met plenty of Republican Natives too.

      I think it's just a mixed bag of nuts out here any way you slice it.

      I have seen plenty of Republicans in these parts take a stand with environmentalists over property rights though and to stop big pollution.

      I think sometimes the talking heads get more air time than actual people.

      And I have seen Dems in these parts at various times try to stifle public dissent with the same tactics we see now by NeoCons and GOPers, and push for things that would have ripped the people off and been bad for the land.

      Unfortunately greed is present in both parties.

  •  I'm just gonna leave this here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, NoMoreLies
    Although we have concentrated on the prospects for extracting information from the geological record concerning the impact of ocean
    acidification, we must question whether it really
    is necessary to isolate its effect on marine organisms from other covarying factors (68). In particular, consequences of increasing atmospheric
    CO2 will also be associated with warming in the
    surface ocean and a decrease in dissolved oxygen concentration (69). Massive carbon release,
    whether future or past, will hence share the same
    combination and sign of environmental changes.
    The strength of the geological record therefore
    lies in revealing past coupled warming and ocean
    acidification (and deoxygenation) events as an
    “integrated” analog, with future and past events
    sharing the same combination and sign of environmental changes. However, in additionally
    driving a strong decline in calcium carbonate saturation alongside pH, the current rate of (mainly
    fossil fuel) CO2
    release stands out as capable of
    driving a combination and magnitude of ocean
    geochemical changes potentially unparalleled
    in at least the last ~300 My of Earth history,
    raising the possibility that we are entering an
    unknown territory of marine ecosystem change.

    We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

    by aztecraingod on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:25:40 PM PST

  •  I'm watching the awful weather on the weather (0+ / 0-)

    channel.  Spooky.

    I'm getting more and more glad to be in Michigan.   Way too close to Detroit, but.....

    Thanks for the diary.   I've been thinking about this alot lately.   Being on DK, you're likely preaching to the choir.  sigh

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 02:34:08 PM PST

  •  Unfortunately, the bankers are taking the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    consumption model of the west to India, Brazil and China.  That's what the Keystone XL pipeline is all about.  That's why the Panama Canal was widened.  That's why supertankers are being built.

    Look at what the U.S. has done with just 300 million people.  Just wait until 6 billion people turn into gasoholics.

    The earth is already at a tipping point but emissions are just getting started.

    It sure doesn't look very hopeful.

  •  "Doomsday Preppers" (0+ / 0-)

    Did you see the show about the guy who had a sign about bitterly clinging to his guns and religion? He had collected 60 different firearms in order to protect his family against the coming apocalypse, which he felt would be a "government takeover." J and I were watching this and turned to each other (he's ex-military; I'm just a person with common sense) and said, "Wouldn't it be better to have, like, two or three guns and LOTS of ammo?"

    Seems like the only folks preparing are the ones who still don't really get it.

    And has anyone noticed the weather-people aren't allowed to ever comment on how unusual or unprecedented the weather is? I mean, the Chad guy (who I like) today said that this Feb/Mar tornado storm was totally typical. Really? REALLY? Not in MY lifetime!


    "A Republic, if you can keep it." Benjamin Franklin

    by deerskie on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:09:32 PM PST

  •  Extremes - that's what will bite us. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've long thought the average temperature change isn't what we will notice or affect us but the extremes of hot/cold, wet/dry, calm/high winds resulting from a higher energy atmospheric system.

    It is a VERY simplified analogy but consider an uncovered pot simmering on the stove. It's temperature measured here and there is about 212 degrees F at sea level. You put a lid on it (increase CO2 in the atmosphere) and your sensors say it's only a bit warmer. But what actually happens? It speeds up from a slow, roiling circulation to a more active, higher speed circulation causing the lid to rattle and perhaps the water to boil over. The energy input doesn't change, the average temp increases slightly (depending on how you measure it) but boiling is boiling at 212 F. The most noticeable effect of more energy retained is faster, more extreme motion of the water.

    Global warming means more energy in the system = more active, extreme weather patterns.

    I've chosen quality-of-life over financial gain so often I'm now completely broke.

    by coldCanadian on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 07:18:55 PM PST

  •  We depend on current methods and a stable (0+ / 0-)

    climate to produce the food that sustains the current population at the level it enjoys today. There are not enough wild animals and fish left to feed us for long.  We need water every day to live even if we reduced our caloric intake or started eating insects.

    I think the people who find the idea of survivalism attractive to be fools and maybe meat in their credulism. It is like the fools who think that since they are rural they have all the guns and grow all the food. How about numbers dips? What are you gonna do if 100 people show up to strip your farm? Gonna kill em all? How about 500? How about 1000? Gonna shoot children, toddlers  ( you galloping amoral jerks)... All because you couldn't stop wasting oil and stripping the earth to fill & heat over large houses anddrive gas hogs.... We can see the problems and they blame the problems on those who want to stop it and heal our world because it denys them the right to conquer and control like some juvenile game.

    I am a pretty pacifistic person but I own more then 5 guns and have reloaders. I also am a archery expert... I started at age 8 stringing a 100 pound bow. This is not some video game ... this is not about the alphas satisfying thier hormones... This is about not just our species... It is about life on Earth. WE trashit and we are history so the alphas will get to die like the baboons raiding the dump.

    Fear is the Mind Killer

    by boophus on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 08:41:44 PM PST

  •  I like you, GreenMother (0+ / 0-)

    This was an excellently written piece.  We seem on the same page in a lot of ways.  I have a very dear friend (RN in California) who has for the last few years been getting almost obsessive about gardening.  Vertical gardens, community gardens, urban soil cultivation, things like that.  Her reason for this is, as we move farther down this road we've made, "only the most skilled of gardeners will be able to still coax life out of the ground,"

    You remind me of her.  :-)

  •  birth control (0+ / 0-)

    is absolutely vital.

    by chloris creator on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:19:27 PM PST

  •  I've just skimmed this so far... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but it has the ring of truth and homework. It also touches on something I have tried to get across to people. Climate and weather are closely related, but are NOT the same thing. Most folk don't have the attention span to track long term changes, but even regular people are beginning to notice sonethings amiss.

    We've had ten of the warmest winters in HISTORY in the northeast out of the last twelve... We've has exactly ONE major snowstorm in the NYC region this year, in October. Thats it. But it's been much more erratic and random.

    Largely how this works is that even an incremental rise in mean global temperatures add more energy to global weather systems. That doesn't mean Baltimore just becomes like Miami... More energy means more CRAZY weather, more water vapor in the atmosphere (serving as an additional greenhouse factor), more  frequents, random and bigger storms, and more uncertainly in the weather overall.

    I think it's just BEGINNING to get interesting.

    What th' heck do I know, I work for a living...

    by SamuraiArtGuy on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 10:28:10 PM PST

  •  I decided global warming was a truth when things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    started happening just like all  the climate change warning books I'd read said they would: more flooding in flooded places, more drought in drought places, bigger and stronger and longer-lasting rainstorms/huricanes/typhoons/tornadoes/snowfalls.
    And that weather would become extremely unpredictable. One  winter would be mild, the next heavily snowed, the next wet and cold, or unseasonably warm, etc -- but in no predictable way. Though Americans don't pay attention or our media ignores reporting it the weather has gone crazy all over the planet: huge floods in Indochina, super droughts in China and Iran, super-powerful typhoons in the western Pacific, tundras turning to grasslands.
    I don't think urbanized people understand what unpredictable weather means to the food supply. Here's an example: Texas is in a murderous drought, one that last summer either killed outright tens of thousands of cattle or forced ranchers to sell them for meat. Say now the same thing happens this year -- so the ranchers who try to rebuild their herds lose them again. OK, so they figure this drought spell will last, and most rrefrain from rebuilding or expandin gtheir herds the next spring. Except the rains come in late spring, the prairies are lush, well water levels rise --- OK, the droughts over, everybody's in a rush to try to get more herd and fatten them up. Then comes a incredibly cold snowy winter that has tens of thousands of cattle freeze or starve to death. Then another good spring. The year after that, a killing drought. Then a so-so year. Then a super-rainy flooded summer of too much water, flashfloods and cattle drowned by the  score. And then a nice spring summer. Followed by another ... then another super-drought year. How can anyone run an agricultural concern with such wild unpredictability? And can you imagine what this does to the price of food? We are moving into an era when spring thaws and winter snow totals, summer rainfall and heatwaves are going to vary wildly from year to year, and make it impossible to have cyclical, familiar weather patterns to guide farm production.
    We are now starting to have more and more price spikes in foods of all kinds, including ones that never much had them before, like peanuts. Get used to it. And be prepared more even more.

    The people demand the fall of this regime ...

    by fourthcornerman on Fri Mar 02, 2012 at 11:25:47 PM PST

  •  What We Have Seen In the East (0+ / 0-)

    is a very warm February that has caused buds to bloom prematurely; these are then killed off by freezes.  There is speculation that ornamental trees will not present much of show this Spring.

    The question is whether plants can adapt rapidly enough to these whipsaw changes, or is climate change proceeding too fast.

  •  But climate change is not important (0+ / 0-)

    Compared to the Koch brothers needing more money. That's what really counts. We should be glad to give them all of our water to use as they please, because they know best.

    Wonderful diary. Thanks.

  •  don't waste your time reasonong with (0+ / 0-)

    right wing nuts.  Sadly this entire contingent is beyond any hope.  

    What a sad country this is where an entire segment of the country is essentially irrational.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Mar 03, 2012 at 12:04:59 PM PST

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