U.N. Secretary-General António Gutteres spoke solemnly on Monday about the looming catastrophic consequences of climate change. He was yelling “Fire!” The tone: Make no mistake about it. There’s no more if. Only when. Mr. Gutteres didn’t even mention that ticks and poison ivy are already benefiting from a warming planet. I still wanted to bury my head in the sand on a beach that will soon be underwater from melting ice.
I saw the U.N. Secretary’s message yesterday morning before I went out to confront those ticks and poison ivy. I wasn’t suited up for a radiation leak from a nuclear power plant, but I was dressed for protection from toxic elements. Long sleeves, broad brim hat, pants tucked into socks that were sprayed with permethrin. This is a pain in the ass. I have done it for the past few years until May approaches, when I grow tired of suiting up and say the hell with it.
I should remain vigilant, but the thought of global warming makes my head hurt. I’m not doing enough to slow rising temperatures. I try to be an earth steward. I have solar panels and an all-electric car, but sometime this summer I may board a plane for London or Seattle to visit my son or daughter. Air travel carries one of the biggest carbon loads.
My daughter Molly has Lyme, as does her partner Steven. Borrelia burdorferi, a nasty bacterial spirochete, is deeply embedded in their tissues. They are both remarkably positive, but it’s a struggle.
I need to book air travel soon.
I’ve got thousands of daffodils in bloom.
Devil may care.
Try as we might, nothing will change until the bankers and brokers get Lyme Disease and their seaside condos wash away. The willful ignorance is too much to fathom, so come Hell or high water I’m leaving on a jet plant– Great Dixter June 9th! Carpe diem!
I’m happy Great Dixter is edging closer on your radar screen. You’ve patiently waited your turn. Hunkering down in East Sussex for a spell beats dwelling on the end is nigh.
Remember the balance beam in high school? It could have been the most important concept learned.
It’s all about balance.
PS Curious comment above.
I am referring to first comment.
Rebecca, I remember the balance beam. Steady as you go. BTW…I deleted the “fine ladies for casual contact.”
Those fine ladies are (mostly) a harmless distraction. Now, how do we go about deleting the Conoco-Philips’ Willow Project, and highlight the actual obscenity and suicidal insanity of any additional oil exploration?
Joe, the science on climate change seems overwhelmingly settled: the earth is warming. Lots of culprits to blame, and I take some responsibility. How this will be mitigated seems a lot less certain. I am an eternal optimist (most days) and am fired up (excuse the pun) for another growing season. I’ve got more planting ideas than ever. Check back with me in August. Ticks, poison ivy, chiggers and a hotter, than a normally hot, Kentucky summer might do me in.
Good you brought this up. I’m trying to personally act responsibly: don’t buy anything new, no food waste- eat everything you have in pantry, don’t drive out to shop-try to do everything on one trip. The flying is a problem but at least it’s only once a year. I think most people who ate not gardeners don’t notice the dire changes we notice that says ‘Yes, the planet is changing: we already may not have enough drinking water; should be watering eith saved rainwater!
Chris, thank you for being so sensible. You’re setting a good example. Water is not an issue in Kentucky. As long as the Ohio River continues to flow we’ll be OK, with one proviso. I hope the Federal government sets water quality standard that can safeguard us against “forever chemicals.”
I heard Rick Steeves on a call-in show recently. He does something with his travel company to offset the carbon load flying generates. His company donates $30/client toward agricultural programs that lessen farmers carbon footprint in poor countries. He uses figures from somewhere (I can’t remember) that every time one flies, it produces 30 lbs. of carbon. Perhaps when you fly, you could plant trees that would sequester 30 lbs./yr.? Or find some other means of locking that carbon. At least you’d be doing some good. I don’t want to give up flying somewhere every few years so I plan to try to do this if I travel.
I’m doing my best. Hundreds of trees planted in the last 7 years plus a beautiful 2-acre carbon sink of a tall-grass meadow. I doubt it’s enough, but I’ll keep trying.
More…Lyme disease is rampant in Maine. It’s so prevalent that if someone HASN’T had it, it’s a surprise. I’m sorry for your daughter and partner. I hope they have it under control. My husband deals with the aftereffects all the time.
Thank you, Kris.