Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mourning the Changes That Surround Us: Readers Speak Out on Climate

[TruthOut] In early July, I asked Truthout readers to share the weather anomalies they are witnessing on their home turf. Large numbers of readers responded with a range of harrowing observations, from vanishing snow, to shifts in seasons, to skyrocketing temperatures, to wildfires and floods. People often conceptualize climate disruption in very theoretical terms - as if it is a phenomenon that will take place in the future. However, as the Truthout community knows, the impacts of planetary warming are very real - and they are happening now.
Taken together, these readers' observations offer a disconcerting look at the planet changing before our eyes. They also lead us to the inevitable task of dealing with the melancholy that is sure to arise from our paying attention to these dramatic planetary changes.
Vanishing Snowpack
"Here, from the center of town, we can see Mount Blanc, the highest peak in Europe at 4,008 meters," Robert James Parsons, who lives in Geneva, Switzerland, wrote Truthout recently. "It is surrounded by less high peaks. When my sisters and mother visited me in September 1993, they had a rare view of the surrounding peaks without snow. These are slate gray, and their contrast with the dark green on the lower mountains and the white on the Mount Blanc range is quite beautiful."
Parsons explained that this was a rare view because, ordinarily, the snow around Mount Blanc never entirely disappeared. Usually, by the middle of each September, the fall rains had begun in the lower elevations, bringing fresh snows higher up, and that would put an end to the exposed gray rock until the end of the next year's summer.
"But this year, the gray rock was visible already at the end of April," Parsons concluded grimly.
While no single climatological event or phenomenon can be attributed solely to anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD), consistent shifts in weather patterns, along with increasing frequency and intensification of events or phenomena, are being tied directly to ACD.
For example, Parson's story evidences the scientific fact that ACD is literally shifting the timing of the seasons.
Gordon Glick has lived in Bremerton, Washington, nearby the Olympic Mountains in Olympic National Park since 1978.
"Bremerton is due east of the Olympic range, particularly the mountains called 'The Brothers,' which are visible from several vantage points around town and environs," he wrote. Read More