On occasion, whilst driving past a certain golf course during my travels, I have noticed that every year, the water level in the pond seems to be rising. At last check, it is almost touching the foot bridge that goes over it. In another few years, that bridge will need to be raised. This has been going on for a few years. In my complex, a pond was created from all the storms that came through ever since I moved in. The water level in the lakes around the area is rising also. Flooding is a constant hazard during the summer. I remember one wicked storms a few moons ago that created a huge puddle at the highway exit that I use when going to work. Most cars avoided it, but I went around the edge of it, avoiding the center. It was still deep, but I made it through. Unfortunately, my truck suffered in the attempt. The carrier bearing and both front wheel bearings needed to be replaced. So that implies that the water was above the front wheel hubs. If I had known that, I would not have made the attempt. I’m lucky I made it through.
All the excess carbon in the atmosphere traps heat, which raises the ambient air temperature. What can we do about it? The easiest way is to simply plant more trees. They use the carbon dioxide that we breathe out to create oxygen. Or, as my science teacher Mr. Griffiths used to say: “trees are the producers, and we are the consumers.” But the logging industry cuts down hundreds of trees a day to satisfy our insatiable need for paper and lumber. The Amazon rain forest as we know it is rapidly disappearing, thanks to an unchecked fire that is still burning as I write this. There has been no media coverage as of late. In my area, parcels of land with trees are being cleared out for new developments. I am concerned about where will the wildlife go. Wild turkey and deer sightings are common sightings in my complex, along with the occasional turtle or frog. It makes me wonder how effective our open space preservation laws are.
I came across a post on Facebook from a friend in Alaska regarding a fire. According to my post, over two million acres have been burned so far. Residents are opting to stay inside due to complaints of burning eyes, headaches, sore throat, and respiratory problems. After looking it up, it is the McKinley Fire. According to KTUU.com, the fire has destroyed an estimated 80 structures. It makes me think of the Pine Barrens fires that happened many moons ago on Long Island. Thankfully, no houses were burned, but since the highway goes past the Barrens, the flames threatened to encroach upon the highway and possibly close it. Even today, whenever I drive through the Barrens, I can still see the blacked and dead trees from the fire. Sometimes I wish the government would send workers in to cut down the dead trees, and plant new ones.
Pundits will argue that climate change is a ruse created by the government to control the population. Then explain the tornadoes in NY, torrential rain in California, snow in the South. Winter weather is already brutal here, but now there is the so called “polar vortex” to worry about, which bring below zero temperatures to my area. Early in the summer here, it rained for most of the weekends. How much rain did we get? Put it this way: Usually a drought emergency is declared at some point due to lack of rain, temperatures in the high 90’s, and warnings about brush fires. No emergencies were declared, and there was not one brush fire.
Climate change is real. The planet needs our help. Some progress has been made to limit our impact on the environment, such as buses, municipal vehicles, and bin lorries that are powered by either compressed natural gas, or electric. I used to drive a CNG bus a few moons ago and I really enjoyed doing my part of not leaving a plume of blue smoke from a dead stop. I heard of one company that is refining diesel fuel from algae, rather than crude oil. Whether this will go mainstream remains to be seen. I wish I had a hybrid electric vehicle, such as the Honda Clarity. It has such “funky” styling. In the competitive world of hybrid cars, one must stand out from the rest, and the Clarity does that well. I do love my piston engine truck, but not the carbon that comes from the exhaust.
When I was at the old job, sometimes I would get one of the newer diesel buses to drive and it would smoke on occasion because the ECM would dump extra fuel in the cylinders to help the engine run at an elevated temperature in order to burn off any particulate matter in the particulate filter. I hated whenever that happened, because it would leave a cloud of smoke behind me. However, that same smoke cloud kept the bumper humpers a car length away. I do remember one day many moons ago when I was walking to work, and there was a Town Car stopped behind a Prevost bus, and he was way too close to his bumper. When the light turned green, there was a thick cloud of black smoke that enveloped the Town Car as the bus moved off, and the driver was visibly upset. That made me laugh. Hopefully he learned his lesson.
Thanks for reading my post. Sat Nam.