Yesterday, we had a huge hail storm, something that’s not unheard of in these parts (central Virginia) but isn’t a common event so we turned into gawkers. The thing about hail storms is they’re kind of beautiful—assuming you’re not standing in them—and fascinating because you’re looking at ice falling madly when the temperature is way too high to think ice can survive.
We’ve been in full-blown spring here for a week or two and, being a hater of cold, I’m eternally grateful. I’d much rather have 70 degrees than 40 or less but I can’t complain too much about the winter we’ve had. Usually, we’d have a few weeks more winter and March is notorious for surprise snowmageddons but I don’t think we’re going to get that this year.
My idea of “normal” weather goes back to my childhood, of course. Here in Richmond, we had winters that were cold—lows usually in the 30’s, sometimes 20’s for brief spells—and summers that were hot and exceedingly humid, ranging from high 80’s to a few days here and there in the low 100’s, mostly in the 90’s. We were tough back then, living without air conditioning until after I left home for college. I’m not so tough these days, preferring comfort over sweat, but I’d still take 98 with no AC rather than cold. Cold’s only redeeming quality comes when we get snow that’s good for making snow cream 😉 Beyond cold and heat, we have many more tornadoes and other extreme-ish weather here in my state than in the past.
All of which brings me to global warming because, let’s face it, weather patterns HAVE changed. Where I differ from hardcore believers in climate change is that, while I believe it’s happening, I don’t believe humans are entirely responsible. There’s too much credible evidence (from what I’ve read) that this is a cyclical phenomenon, one which has happened before in pre-history when humans could not possibly have caused it. Do we play a huge role in this current situation? Yes, undoubtedly. Do we need to improve our environment? Yes, vastly, and I’m willing to do my individual part without giving up all the things that make life more comfortable. I want pristine skies and breathable air as much as anyone does…unleaded gasoline and clean heat make sense…but I doubt if I’ll ever have an electric car and I’m quite sure I’ll never go for natural gas in my home. I recycle bottles, paper and cans and I have water-saving appliances and fixtures (although I think water-saving toilets are one of humanity’s worst inventions). I take re-usable bags to the grocery store and I financially support the preservation of rain forests and, actually, plants in general. Oh, and I haven’t spread cigarette smoke around since August 2004.
What kinds of things do you do to help our environment? Do you think we can entirely reverse climate change worldwide or even just in our own small parcel of the earth, enough to make a difference?