Wednesday, December 13, 2006


If you were born in the first half of the previous century, there are some surprises you weren't expecting. Take the arctic, for example. Here I was, confidently looking forward to another century of polar ice, and now they say it'll all be melted away well before I'm 150, meaning that just about the time I have to begin cutting back on my wine, single-malt scotch, cigars, chocolate etc., the ocean levels will be several meters higher, the poles will be retirement havens, Florida will be a sliver; Manhattan, London, Tokyo et al. will be submarine business centers, California will be an Oceanside promenade along the western Rockies, Japan will be a thousand small islands, Lake Biwa will be saltwater, my mountain property will be beachfront, and Tahiti, the Bahamas and other currently tropical islands will be but memories.

That exotic bird I heard outside my window the other dawn might have been a puzzled migrant from the Amazon rain forest... we seem to be having warmer and warmer winters, each of these seasons they still wistfully call Winter, when my winter clothes are too warm to wear. Today is like April, an unusual lot of rain lately.

A couple days ago I just harvested another basketful of oregano, another of my plants that thought it must be spring again already and started producing rich green leaves; the Echinacea are still sending up blooms, the nasturtiums are all perky, reaching for the hot Wintry sun. Will I really need all this firewood, I wonder... and should we really bother with snow tires?

Some folks say there's no global warming, about the same number that say there's no evolution, with that odd glaze of confidence in their eyes. Then again this might be just one of those 1,000,000-year anomalies no one knows much about other than as deluvian mythology, but lack of knowledge has never done much to forestall the inevitable. I've already done about as much greening as I can, so the only thing left is to put that well-stocked canoe up on the roof.


Anonymous said...

I would recommend a read of Cormac McCarthy's book "The Road" --- Which provides a bleak vision of what may be ahead.

Somehow you would hope that Japan might be immune to all of it. Maybe the jimoto people really think that way ne.

Cheers from the Miura Peninsula!

John N.

Maya's Granny said...

Winters in Alaska have grown positively balmy. I lived in Fairbanks in the late 60s and early 70s and the weekend after Thanksgiving was always -40, if not -45. Now, it rarely gets below +25 before December. Here in Juneau, so far this year we've had almost 70 inches of snow and almost all of it melted in the following rain.

Robert Brady said...

Here on the mountain, in late November of '95 we had over a meter of snow in one fall! Now, in mid-December I work outside in a t-shirt.

Zen said...

I own a yacht.