As I sit here composing, I am thinking back to about this time last year when I did likewise, and the year before that – trying to organize my thoughts in terms of what to compose. The plan, when all is said (actually, written) and done, is to put forth a highly thoughtful and motivating message for the approaching New Year. So, we shall see where this goes.
While deep in thought, I gaze out the window and notice a brilliant-blue sky, puffy, white clouds aloft, and in the brisk, invigorating breeze leaves of trees blow. Those of the deciduous type are either bereft or partially bereft of foliage, the plants from which they came previously bedecked in full regalia of, in some cases, thick and verdant leafy growth, greenery shed, the remnants now scattered about the ground, sidewalks and streets, in assorted hues of yellow, orange, red and brown. They are not long for the rake, then into the appropriate container they’ll go, temporarily stored, until ready for truck-forwarding to a site where the waste that this is, will be mixed with more of its kind, the organic material ultimately to become soil-amending matter; matter going by the more common identifier, “compost,” an additive used to enrich soil to aid in plant growth, like that of shrubs and the trees that produce the leaves that provide said flora its protective cloak. Yes, it’s all part of the cycle of life, amazing and inspiring both this regenerative and repetitious, truly full-circle process is!
While I’m at it, I take time to ponder the bigger world beyond my immediate view, understanding the bigger picture, fully aware of the prolonged western and southwestern U.S. drought and knowing fully well that the quarter-inch or so of rain received over the weekend, that as little as it was (literally a drop in the precip. bucket) and appreciated so, needs repeating, many, many times over, in fact, to build back up the supply that has become exceptionally low. While where I reside there exists a dihydrogen monoxide (H2O) shortage, elsewhere in the world there exists an overabundance, so much so, that extreme amounts of water assume a different form – flooding, in raging torrents at times. Has/is the planet’s enveloping climate and/or atmosphere changed/changing? Your thoughts?
Of the change I have seen, much is in my own backyard – literally. Much of the already mentioned vegetation did not so much as shed any of its foliage until early to mid December, a full month later than what one would expect ordinarily. Even the buzzing bees had staying power, more so than what is typical. And backyard-placed day lilies sprung from the ground, not one, but multiple times, such phenomena becoming a more common occurrence. It’s as if the position of Earth relative to the sun has shifted. A curiosity for sure, but only if one is aware.
Is it quote-unquote “climate change?” Some say “yea,” others say “nay.”
As for me, I’m not saying I believe; I’m not saying I don’t. What I will say is this: Known absolutely is that increases in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions or the “GHGs,” is not happening by natural forces alone – it’s gotten help. That added or extra GHG gain obviously alters the air’s composition. What isn’t staying put is moving up or down into and out of the stratosphere and land and water if not the respiratory system of human and animal life – the fauna. The concept taken in totality is classified, categorized as the “exchange system.” An example, of course, would be plants taking in of CO2 and their giving off of oxygen.
Meanwhile, the air, like any absorbing medium, has only so much capacity to hold in it what it can. And, as this relates, I chose to call 2015, Waste Awareness Year or “WAY,” due to my wanting to focus on waste as a problem and the fact that the atmosphere is itself not limitless in its ability to absorb. There are side effects, serious they sometimes are.
So, whether you’re one to subscribe to the climate-change notion or not, continued dumping of pollutants into the air just doesn’t cut it. There both has been and is going to be continued fallout from such. Running counter to that backlash is progress.
Speaking of which, the U.N. Climate Change Conference that last week concluded after two weeks of so-called “negotiations,” has provided the spark to put the world on a more constructive course. To repeat what I’ve said before, the real work now begins. I would like to now add to that the word “tough,” because I know in getting air to a better, healthier state won’t be easy. But take heart in knowing that the processes, inputs, triggers that led to the air being damaged, can be corrected. But, that’s going to take work as well as the will to do the work necessary as it just won’t occur on its own – just as pollution that plagues the air likewise did not happen without an assist. “Tough,” inarguably. “Impossible,” no.
My gazing out of the window adjacent to where I’m sitting, my focus of the sunny, brilliant- blue, cloud-accentuated sky, in a few days will be changed. The scene will be altered, the skies possessing a different tone, one more sullen-looking and less inspiring and dingy and gray and contaminated with dirt and filth from the sources of pollution that make this so. Yet, I know that such air condition need not be this way. And, truth be told, it is this that gives me hope!
Here’s looking forward to most favorable times ahead!
This post has been updated.
Image top: Gregg Erickson
Image middle: Ashley Felton