So Beautiful, So Scary, It’s the Future

Fall is in its glory, with beautiful weather days, clouds, pumpkins and leaf colors surrounding us here in Chicago.

Chicago pumpkins

Revel in this loveliness, dear readers, because Climate Change is with us everywhere always. Last Saturday, I attended a seminar at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The subject? A scientific study of which trees we should be planting because they are well suited to….future heat levels in the Chicago region. Here’s some winners: American Hornbeam [Carpinus caroliniana] ‘Firespire’, Kentucky Coffeetree [Gymnocladus dioicus] ‘Top Hat’, Miyabe Maple [Acer miyabei] ‘State Street’. Here’s a loser: White oak. My heart weeps to think this tree may be gone from Chicago by 2050.

As I write, the biggest hurricane EVER is looming down on wonderful Manzanillo, Mexico, which we once had the pleasure of visiting, bringing with it 12″ of rain across the American Gulf Coast. 2015 is the hottest year on record. The oceans are already three degrees warmer than the 20th century average (and it takes a lot of heat to heat up an entire ocean), and drought will mean MILLIONS will be starving in Africa. India and Pakistan hit 118 degrees last spring, leaving no water supply. Thousands of people died. Did we even KNOW THAT? (Pet peeve: TV weather reports never show international maps, as if no one lives in foreign countries. Even Canada doesn’t show up on the TV news.)

But 25 “red” states are suing the Federal government for trying to reduce emissions via regulations to be published by the EPA today. It’s a disingenuous ploy to seem like they are saving coal mining jobs since most states** are preparing plans to do the right thing, climate wise, and meet the regulations thru their own cap-and-trade programs. (**Hard-core Governors that are suing the Feds without creating their own air quality plans are Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma.)

I’m grateful to live in Chicago, which seems fairly insulated from the big environmental disasters. But the “hot” news from elsewhere makes me want to either pull the blankets over my head and hide OR do something pro-active. I live in a big house (actually, two houses), own three cars (none battery powered), and own numerous gas-driven tractors, lawnmowers, chain saws and leaf blowers. Which means that I’m more responsible in thought (admission: I think electricity is the best invention ever) and deed for bleaching the coral animals than the average guy, although not anywhere as bad as the Koch brothers, the Tennessee Valley Authority (yes, the Federal government’s own power plants), or Exxon Mobil. Their coal companies power my house and their refineries power my vehicles. Moi? Mea culpa.

Here’s a great Forbes article that explains the big polluters and the trade-offs we make.

No matter how many (heat tolerant) trees I plant, it’s time for me to say “no” to gasoline and coal. Maybe one less person will starve or one more coral will live because I didn’t blow the leaves away quite so fast or (gasp) raked and composted the leaves. Less air conditioning and “cleaner” cars. Ya think?##

Sounds like I’m singing the blues today. Here’s some “blues”, in recent photographs…

P1190508

P1190511

 

P1190527

P1190543

Posted on by weedpatchgazette in Conservation and Ecology, Environmental Protection, Plants

3 Responses to So Beautiful, So Scary, It’s the Future

  1. Sandra Anselmo

    Great Comments and I will take note about planting a heat tolerant tree!
    We have had 15 cut down–dead ash, pine and elm. Now the hardest thing to do—cut down a beautiful maple in radiant colors right now!!! The tree trunk is split and a big hole in it that animals love! And it is next to our neighbors home!! It is huge and this is very very sad!!! Tree guy is coming again to assess–but a cable is not a guarantee to save the tree.

  2. debra phillips

    as i write this comment i am in europe. the news is filled with climate change stories and plans of action. it is not a political issue but deemed a human, animal and plant issue along with weather concerns and the present changes.
    i could scream that in the usa it is a friggin’ political issue! bravo to your comments!
    debra

  3. Maartha Drummond

    Keep those beautiful photos coming Rom. Love,
    Martha

Add a Comment

Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.