Friday 20 July 2012
When money won't buy food.
I said recently that I try not to talk about climate change too much.
The reason for that has been that I don't really want to engage in a debate over whether or not the climate is changing and if it has been caused by human industrialization.
Having read this article, in addition to a few others, that debate is closed for me.
I am no longer willing to entertain any alternate theories that may justify our greedy consumption of fuel,
and the lack of political will to spearhead change
And so I will discuss it for what it is; fact.
This year has seen remarkable events.
A stage two drought in central Ontario.
The threat of crop collapse in the mid-western U.S.
There have been 'dry-storms' in the U.S. where the only thing that hits the ground is lightning.
The rain evaporates before it can hit the ground.
For us, our well is dangerously low.
I have seen it quite low in 2006, but I believe the water level is lower now than it was then.
Normally, the water table here doesn't drop until the dryness of September.
Our crops are suffering.
I have yet to get a pump hooked up in order to irrigate from the pond; while the pond still has water.
That job will be a top priority in coming days.
Kira thinks that we won't get apples from our trees next year due to the excessive dryness.
And while we are fortunate to be in a watershed zone, the rains that have come through have split to the south and north of us, leaving us dry despite the storms.
What will happen?
Predictions run from total apocalypse to a simple weather pattern re-arrangement.
The rise of sea-levels is not in much dispute.
What shoud we do?
Suggestions vary from utter panic to simply engineering our adaptations.
After all, the tar sands will give us energy independance so that we may have enough fuel to keep the air-conditioners going.
Mind you, there won't be anything to eat.
That's my cynical side coming through.
But I am an optimist at heart.
I believe that when it gets bad enough for everyone to be gravely concerned,
we will pull out all of the stops and use human ingenuity to create real solutions.
(That is the same ingenuity that got us into this disaster.)
The real shame is that many of the best solutions create a better,
healthy, and more fulfilling life.
Why on earth we don't move forward to something better, really confounds me.
I heard the term 'American Dream' the other day.
It has come up recently when talking about the strange voting behaviour in the U.S.
It occurred to me that living the dream also means being blinded to reality.
Like it or not, Canadians are living in the same dream.
So if you know someone who can't snap out of it,
give them a good hard shake.
For us, the solutions vary, depending on the time of day.
In the morning, when I'm fed and rested,
the solutions are there just waiting to be engaged.
At night, when I'm tired, all hope withers,
like the livelihoods of farmers struck down by drought.
Nighttime solutions are much more extreme.
Idle conversation slips into making preparations for the worst kind of disaster.
Should we hole up?
Or bug out?
The worst kind of disaster isn't a violent act of nature.
The best of mankind emerges and everyone joins together in an act of solidarity against the immense power of the earth itself.
The worst kind of disaster is when society breaks down.
When there is not enough food.
When there is not enough water.
When there is not enough shelter.
And the worst of mankind will emerge.