Sunday, May 31, 2009

After the competition, a barbeque!

And a chance to explore a new garden, with lovely flowers and some trees, alas, not so happy. The pines of course are going bare, and that maple leaf is curled up, scorched and discolored, in another sign of distress.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

First Place in the Pouring Rain!

You can see Alice is one stubborn and determined lady, having to lunge her second entry in an attempt to decrease the er...friskiness before the next dressage test. After some comic relief, the skies opened up and a blue ribbon was won!



I have always been fascinated with eggs, particularly chicken eggs. I have painted them, cooked them, collected them, dyed and decorated them with ribbon and sequins, and thought about them, quite a bit. One of these days I will compile a comprehensive list of all the common references to them that people largely don't realize refer to chickens and roosters and their peculiarities (who's ruling the roost? ruffling their feathers? don't count your eggs until their endless mine). All you need to know about humans you can learn from keeping poultry.

I digress. I meant to write about something related, which is that one of the most enduring influences in my life is Judith Fouser. This goes back a long time, and we haven't had any contact since I was a young woman. Just another example of the meaning of "formative years." Judith was, probably still is, an artist and she needed help with childcare so she could have time to pursue her painting.

So, when I was a teenager I babysat for her first son, Joshua the original Wild Thing with white-gold curls and mischievous eyes. Being part of that family afforded me a glimpse into a very different world than I was familiar with, an exotic and exciting and exceedingly intriguing prospect. They lived in a charmingly well-preserved federal home on the hill overlooking the historic Ipswich Green, with geese in the back yard and a plaster statue of a bodacious naked figure on the landing, a sort of relic from her days at art school. On hot summer days, when the front door was open to the breeze, this lifelike specter with beseeching, outstretched hands and lovely breasts, gave passersby quite a surprise.

Judith tended towards lyrical, smooth and rounded shaped figures frozen on austere landscapes, all in subdued hues. She also scoured the beaches for battered shells to make collages, and to use as erotic subjects in her paintings - reminiscent of Georgia O'Keeffe but mostly in shades of grey. Much more New England than New Mexico. Every day in the summer we would drive to the beach in her battered VW bug, and I would make sure Joshua didn't drown while lurching and hurtling in the surf while she read books in the shade of her gigantic floppy straw hat, with her thermos of martinis planted firmly in the sand by her canvas folding chair.

One of the reasons knowing the Fouser family was so extraordinary was because Judith was an early acolyte of Julia Child's first French cookbook. In these days, post Chez Panisse and so many others, it's hard to imagine how unusual and exciting that was. I grew up with a mother who was an excellent cook but was restricted to only the most basic of ingredients in combinations no more various than those that spanned at least two generations. From her garden she made sauerkraut, and pickles - and a favorite dish involved white rice, pieces of chicken, canned pineapple, Campbell's mushroom soup with a tiny scoop of instant coffee stirred in, all baked and topped with grated cheese. Actually it wasn't bad...

On the other hand, Judith used actual fresh mushrooms, practically unheard of - and wine, and garlic, and HERBS. It was just a revelation to nibble on the leftovers of her dinner parties the next day.

Of course, our lunch staple was still sandwiches, made from Pepperidge Farm white bread, mayonnaise, and slabs of Land 'O' Lakes block cheese or perhaps instead, cucumbers!

The Fouser's were members of an elite and daring coterie that most notably included John Updike, and it was an irreverant reference to them, whilst jumbling up the couples, their personal quirks and escapades, with which he composed "Tarbox," a novel that caused quite a sensation when it was published, for the unabashed adulteries. I can remember accidentally stumbling across mixed pairs in the lilacs behind the tennis court, and, after supper, watching the entire group strip and skinny dip in a pond. Naturally this became what I expected normal adulthood to entail, so consequently I couldn't wait to grow up, and when I actually did, I wondered wistfully more than once when the party was going to begin.

Anyway, I still am enamored of cooking delicious food, and raising chickens, and pondering eggs with all their simplicity and mystery.

At the top of the post is a painting of Judith's that I have had for about thirty years. It hangs on the wall next to my bed so it is the first thing I see when I wake up, and it still fascinates me. It seems to be about consciousness, awareness, and birth, and secrecy, and fear, and a whole bunch of other things, depending on the light and my mood. Also some pictures of mine - of chickens, and eggs. And some real eggs. The egg on the lower right is normal grocery-store size. The others are twins!
Comments to this story from

Alex J Says:
May 30th, 2009 at 1:39 pm
It’s true that our ancestors learned to adapt and survive in the face of climate change. Well, either that or failed as a society, depending on where you look. But lest we think adaptation will occur with little cost and disruption to life as we know it, consider that the example given in that article was of REGIONAL climate change affecting a relatively small population. Today, we’re poised to accelerate changes beyond anything experienced by civilization, and on a global-scale involving an interconnected world of billions of people. So while this research may offer some insight into adaptation techniques, I’m not sure we can make a direct comparison to how nations today will rebuild infrastructure, secure reliable perennial water supplies, modify agriculture etc., on a massive scale. Actually starting to address the root of the issue rather than risking future economic health and quality of life still looks like a more responsible approach.

David B. Benson Says:
May 30th, 2009 at 4:52 pm
Dorothy — Way to go, but in the long run need to bring it down to below 300 ppm CO2e.

Gail Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
May 30th, 2009 at 5:10 pm
Alex J, I agree. There is no precedent for the number of people on the planet simultaneously facing widespread food, water, and energy shortages.

I see it going one of two ways, no middle ground. Either the global culture will be transformed into international cooperation and support, with people realizing there are no life boats for this Titanic; or it’s a Mad Max, every man for himself slugfest.

So there is hope that we will see a magically higher level of human understanding (albeit in a world impoverished by the massive loss of species - that’s inevitable and in fact, already occurring) and then there is the fear that we will have a total breakdown of social norms into pandemonium punctuated by police states.

When you start thinking about it, it gets kinda scary.

end of May

One of the things that is happening with the trees is that some of them are turning fall colors - in spring! This is a sign of "decline" which is a sort of forestry industry pseudonym for "death".

Oh, where did I put it but someplace or other, I read that the US Forest Service translated their count of dying trees to only include standing timber, and not count those that had fallen, which artificially reduces the percentage of dying trees. They have been engaged in a grand conspiracy to suppress the real information about the state of our ecosystem, because if they reported it accurately, there would be a hue and cry to address the root cause - climate chaos thanks to burning fossil fuels and OH WE CAN'T HAVE THAT.

Here's a wild video, I have no idea who from, that makes you think, or at least laugh...

compelling videos

Wow! Now that I finally in my dotage have learned to post direct links, I can put such fantastic sites as this and anyone who bothers to stop by here at witsend can have instant access without cutting and pasting.

All of his videos are, just, brilliant.

Les fleurs

At least, the perennial flowers are gorgeous AND thanks to Ken, I discovered my own camera has a macro setting. Not as good as his fancy Nikon lens but not bad, check out the results! If only I could export the heavenly scent of the Japanese fringe tree. Oops, a shot of cones on the weeping hemlock snuck in. I planted two after Sophie, Max and I saw some ancient specimens at Longwood Gardens, and I had such plans for it to grow to a massive size some day.

Another way to fritter away time on the intertubes!

which I found thanks to R. Pauli. It looks as though I could spend hours at stumbleupon, oh noes!

Richard Pauli's excellent blog

This will inform you about the evil antics of the petroleum industry and how they lobby to confuse and confound the citizens about the true impacts of CO2 emissions.

posting links so they work, no more cut and paste!


Yale report

This is an interesting report especially in the context of my latest comment at climateprogress:

“The memorandum called for an emergency package of financial support for tropical forest nations, as the loss of forests is responsible for about 18 per cent of global carbon emissions.” - from the timesonline report, headline above “Global Warming must stay below 2C”. (which can be found here:

There aren’t going to be any tropical forests because the tropical rain patterns are radically different and going to become more erratic. I’m all for conservation but these scientists are suffering from some sort of delusion if they actually think the tropical rain forests - or any forests anywhere - can survive climate change, let alone absorb excess CO2.

Canada already figured out that they can’t claim their boreal forest offsets their carbon output and withdrew the figure from calculations. The boreal forest is now a net emitter of carbon, not a sink.

It’s time to reframe the question and try to figure out how humans can survive climate change.

Friday, May 29, 2009

ha ha delightful, comments and CLICK at the end on the video!

Dorothy Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 6:15 pm
Gail and Paul, I feel the same heartbreak, but it helps to keep moving and doing. As for feelings of outrage though, they are with me constantly these days.

How utterly dishonest of pundits, politicians and even some scientists to tell us that keeping global temperature below 2C (not that they can) will keep us all safe. It’s as if public health officials were to annouced that 98.6 degrees is no longer the normal temperature for the human body; the acceptable standard has been changed to 104 degrees. So you don’t take your baby to the doctor in time, and he dies, but it’s nobody’s fault, right, certainly not yours. Certainly not the public servants you have chosen to protect you.

Planet is already too hot right now. Ask anyone who lives in Bangladesh. The only meaningful discussion should be about how fast we can decrease GHG emissions to zero, and how fast we can bring atmospheric CO2 down to 325 ppm.

Gail Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 7:36 pm


paulm Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 8:13 pm
The only meaningful discussion should be about how fast we can decrease GHG emissions to zero, and how fast we can bring atmospheric CO2 down to 325 ppm.

Hullo! Anyone listening ?!

Rick Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 8:27 pm
The Yale360 article, “Beyond Abstraction: Moving The Public on Climate Action” — and apparently the research program it describes — is fatally flawed.

The “Beyond Abstraction” article is one long Lie-By-Omission. Everything it says is true; and everything it says was known years ago (with the exception of some months-old polling data).

So what is its glaring Lie-By-Omission? It completely fails to address Disinformation Campaigns (a la Exxon and numerous “think tanks”), and the vulnerability of politicians to demagogic Information Warfare tactics (e.g, “Look out — Senator BlueDog wants to raise your gas taxes!”).

Despite such Disinfo and Info-War tactics that exploit humanity’s long-known cognitive-emotive vulnerabilities, global climate disaster could have been prevented … if only our social scientists in academia had the courage to investigate the POLITICAL ECONOMY OF PROPAGANDA.

Unfortunately, that courage appears nowhere in the Yale360 article.

Gail Says:
May 29th, 2009 at 8:34 pm
Just us chickens?–2153459
I've been following the links provided to me last October (see prior post) on the Mudflats. One is from a forester in Virginia a few years ago, this is what he wrote:

"Homeowners in the eastern portion of Virginia are seeing an unusual number of Oak trees dying in their yards - and they have been getting some conflicting information as to the cause.
Officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) want to help clarify the issue.
Dr. Chris Asaro, VDOF forest health specialist, said, "Dozens of citizens have called VDOF offices throughout Eastern Virginia to report hundreds of dead or dying Oak trees on their property. While we typically see some Oak mortality this time of year, the high number of trees affected this year is unusual."
The most plausible reason is simply the result of the weather - five years of drought followed by two years of extreme precipitation.
"The eastern portion of the state experienced a tremendous amount of rain from Hurricane Isabel and Tropical Storm Gaston. The trees were inundated with water, thereby causing their roots to rot slowly over the last couple of years. With the onset of hot, summer weather this June and July, trees with rotted root systems were unable to obtain enough water and simply wilted under the stress. Combine this with the advanced age of most of the trees affected and you have a formula for tree mortality. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to save these trees. By the time symptoms of leaf wilting show up, they are effectively dead," Asaro said.
"Many of these trees have become susceptible to other diseases and insect pests - especially the Asian ambrosia beetle - that attack weakened and dying trees. Although these insects are very widespread (noted by the appearance of white sawdust at the base of the tree), there is no evidence to suggest that the primary cause of death is Asian ambrosia beetles, as some homeowners have been told. Few, if any, healthy trees have the ambrosia beetle and are unlikely to be killed by it directly. Only highly stressed trees are being hit by this insect. Therefore, spraying a healthy tree with insecticide would probably be a waste of money."
David Terwilliger, VDOF forester in Hanover County, said, "The hardest part of this is having to tell the landowners that there isn't anything that can be done to save their beautiful Oaks. Most of the trees that are dying are more than 100 years old, and they mean so much to the families.'"

In my opinion, although he is denial of the real cause - not weather, but climate chaos - he still is actually more astute than most professionals in the field. He doesn't go so far as to say "climate change" but he does make two important distinctions:

The most plausible reason is simply the result of the "weather" - five years of drought followed by two years of extreme precipitation...trees with rotted root systems were unable to obtain enough water and simply wilted under the stress


By the time symptoms of leaf wilting show up, they are effectively dead.

Expand what he is stating to include trees of all ages and species, and it adds up to exactly what I see. Most foresters dissemble far more than he does. They say, it's a bug, or it's a disease or it's a fungus. They almost never tie a mass die-off to "weather" and they often assert that the trees will recover because they're "resilient". This guy is admitting that once they exhibit the signs of "decline" they are doomed, and collectively so, as a species.

The health effects of climate change

Today, various sites discussed the Global Humanitarian Forum report as found here

warning that climate change is already impairing human health and will to do so to a far greater degree in the future. Following are my comments to a couple of websites in response to this study:

1 The climate has already changed and will continue to become ever more destabilized and chaotic. This is killing the ecosystems all over the world which evolved to live in the climate that existed before humans started burning fossil fuels on a huge scale. Anyone who possesses a rudimentary familiarity with Darwinian evolution should be able to see this is obvious and predictable. Ecosystems are a balance of organisms that occupy very specific niches. As soon as one factor changes, such as temperature or precipitation, everything else must adjust. The problem is, we have changed both temperature and precipitation patterns faster than long-lived species can adapt. Trees that live decades or even centuries are simply going to die, along with everything else that depends on their shade, fruits and nuts.

2. to ZS, (who posted this at

The GHF report is important because it strongly supports the message that climate change is happening NOW. It’s crucial that we communicate that reality to people because there is a mainstream perception that this is a problem that will only affect our grandchildren, or that is at least 20-30 years in the future. I think that action on climate change is directly correlated with perception of the distance of the threat, whether temporally or spatially - if people think that climate disaster is several decades away, or that it won’t really make much of a difference where they live, the chance of a meaningful response is close to nil.)

I wrote:

I couldn't agree more with everything you said, thank you for putting it so concisely. This is why I am making as much of a fuss as I can about trees (the other is that losing trees especially among other forms of nature is personally heartbreaking to me).

I keep hoping that once people with the highest carbon footprint in the world notice that they are destroying their own backyard (not to mention any possibility of passing on to their children the world they are accustomed to...the one with trees, birds, butterflies, maple syrup and apple cider, nuts and peaches) maybe they will start taking seriously our collective and individual obligation - which is to force our elected officials to legislate measures to save us from runaway warming before it's not just the ecosystems that collapse (that is already a given) but human civilization as well.

Okay that was a run-on sentence.


WOW! Just for fun, I googled my blog and over a thousand references came up! I was really glad I did because I followed one to a comments thread from back in last October, over at Mudflats Forum (

I had posted a comment to AKMuckrakers column regarding Palin's war on wildlife, but didn't check back afterwards. Then this morning, after I retrieved a reference from the googling, I went back and found there were all sorts of thoughtful responses. I wish I'd read them at the time but better late than never. I haven't followed the links yet but I'm looking forward to it when I get more time. First comes my comment and then several responses (one I loved was: "Rant On, Gail Zawacki!")

To AKMuckraker, October 17 2008:

I do appreciate your fondness for wildlife, and the horrible loss we are facing.
I live in New Jersey and although I am not an expert scientist by any means, I am a life-long devoted observer of nature and particularly trees.
It appears obvious to me that ALL the trees in this region are dying, however, everyone but me seems oblivious. It makes me feel like I am going crazy! From what I see these past 8 weeks or so, every type of tree is horribly stressed. Hickory, locust, ash, sycamore, and black walnuts look particularly bare.
I recently took a trip to Newport, Rhode Island and all the way there I saw the same thing – trees whose leaves are scorched, crowns are thin or gone entirely. The vast majority of evergreens have yellowing needles and are bursting with cones, a signal of impending demise.
The decline is so prevalent and is affecting every age and every species of deciduous and coniferous tree. I believe no one disease or pollutant can be the cause, which most likely is the lack of water due to climate change. Assuming this is true, the situation will only worsen. From what I have read, once a tree exhibits the clear symptoms of decline, such as are readily evident and ubiquitous already, it cannot be reversed and it is only a matter of time before it dies completely.
I have contacted the state drought monitoring agency and they claim there is no drought. However, their measurement of aquifers does not reflect the change in rainfall patterns, which have gone from more frequent, gentler showers to infrequent heavy downpours. The state officials seem to willfully wish not to expand their criteria of what constitutes a threat.
It seems to me the trees are dying of thirst. When they are all dead, a few years hence, they will present an enormous fire risk, as well as fall all over power and telephone lines, greatly disrupting the business of daily life. All the birds that nest in trees will die. The insect population will explode. And I’m sure there are countless other negative effects, not to mention, the tragic loss of natural beauty.
I personally live on a small farm with hundreds of dying trees and from past experience I know it costs easily $1000 to have a good sized tree removed. I certainly can’t afford that!
It is amazing and frightening to me that there is not even any discussion about what is happening in plain view.
Thank you for reading my rant.
Gail Zawacki
Oldwick NJ

@witsendnj (16:18:31) :

Dear witsendnj – you aren’t going crazy…below are some links verifying that our trees are indeed dying at an unprecedented rate:
From Publishers Weekly
In a thoroughly researched book, Little (Hope for the Land) documents the depressing state of U.S. forests. Individual trees are dying at unprecedented rates, numerous woody species are at risk of extinction and the country’s forests are disappearing as intact ecosystems. The devastation stretches across the land and is eerily similar to losses observed in Europe. Although the immediate cause of death varies, Little and the numerous ecologists and foresters whom he interviewed argue convincingly that the best explanation is ultimately the environmental havoc humans have wrought. Acid rain, heavy metal contamination, smog, increased ultraviolet rays streaming through the growing hole in the ozone layer and atrocious management of forests?from clear-cutting to fire suppression?have so weakened individual trees, as well as ecosystems, that once-routine pests may now be responsible for destruction on an unprecedented scale. This book should significantly alter the way we think about our relationship to the natural world.
Trees dying trend in USA and Germany:
Trees dying in Virginia:

Trees dying in California:

@ witsendnj (16:18:31)
“The vast majority of evergreens have yellowing needles and are bursting with cones, a signal of impending demise.”
Thank you for the information and your concern. I have been confused about the state of the evergreens around me. I’m distressed to hear they may be past help, but at least glad to have some understanding of the situation.

Debbie aka Commando Coalfire Palin (21:39:44) :
Someone mentioned dying trees in New Jersey. I think you are probably right, here is what I know from the other side of the country. While I believe we are contributing heavily to global warming I am also aware based on fossils that the area where I live was once much warmer than it is now. I base this on fossil evidence, I have a counter top made of slices of a petrified palm tree that a friend of mine found buried on his land while he was excavating to build his house, apparently they are very common in this area not far from the Canadian boarder.
I have seen a number of trees tyoes dying off on my land near a river in southern puget sound. mainly it has been hemlock which has a semi shallow root system but requires alot of water. I have come to believe the water table is dropping, while we still get lots of rain it is also getting warmer so more water evaporates. I have been kicking around the PNW for over 40 years the difference is noticable when I was in my teens it was unheard of for tempetures to hit 90 now it happens often, in fact we have plenty of days over 100. On the family farm is a pond where my 88 year old mother skated every winter when she was young, in my life time it has frozen over twice. The world has been heating up for awhile now.
Perhaps the most interesting thing i have seen is an ancient city off the coast of southern Mexico that, at it’s shallowest is under 40 feet of water, that is how far the sea has risen since this city was built around 2500 years ago.
I am not sure there is anything we can do to stop it, anyone who has ever been in an earthquake knows when the earth decides to do something it does it. Much as fleas have no control over the dog they live on we have very little contol over our hostess. We may be able to slow things down a bit by cleaning up our environment but in my opinion that horse has done left the barn.

Pursang (22:14:43) :
To a degree I can understand people’s desires to use the Earth’s natural resources. Especially when you see the developing countries being lectured by the developed West. After all we’ve used all of ours and made our economy strong in doing so. Now we sit here and lecture developing countries for doing the same thing so you can see why they would think of us as hypocrites. Sort of like we had our but you can’t have yours.
This goes along with Alaska’s desire to use their natural resources to make themselves a better state and then to have the Lower 48 put up hurdle after hurdle must upset them tremendously.
I guess though that we’ve learned from our mistakes and are trying to make retributions by stopping the mining practices that cause enviromental disasters or protect the animals that are rapidly becoming extinct. Still perhaps we need to make monetary exchanges to developing countries to keep them from doing what we did, to help them become properous without killing the environment. Worth looking at I suppose.
The health of the animal population is a way to determine how our planet is doing. With animals becoming extinct and vast portions of forest dying Earth is trying to tell us that something is wrong, that it is sick. It’s time we start to listen for the sake of the children and grandchildren out there or they won’t be able to save her no matter what they do.
I wish the whales, moose, polar bears, and wolves the best of luck. You deserve your part of this planet and if we don’t help them the world will be the worse for it.

Pat (05:12:44) :
Fedupnj & Susie in NJ……….I used to live onthe edge of the Pine Barrens. When I came to coastal, Downeast Maine 17 years ago, NJ was already exeriencing, 4 FULL months of summer weather. And I remember from my childhood in the 40’s, ice skating for a good portion of the winter…..enough snow to be given skis for Christmas……… later in the early 70’s I tried to take my kids skiing one day; we wound up renting horses because it was too warm to even keep the manufactured snow from melting!
In the 60’s, 70’s my parents lived in Albany, NY. I remember the dire condition of the trees along the NY Thruway, and the Garden State Parkway, yellowing browning leaves, conifers as well. Earth Day happened along with a major effort to reduce the acid rain…………..It worked, the trees survived, looked healthy again…..BUT we have just endured 8 years of Bush’s disastrous pandering to the BIG polluters. I watched ( on cspan) the Kyoto Treaty meeting in the spring of 2001, BEFORE 9/11 even happened. WE DIDN”T SIGN,,, THE TREATY and a lot of countries were pretty peeved with us.,
Yes my trees on the coast of Maine look pretty sickly too……………I have Hemlock wooley adalged on my 2 hemlock trees……………..which are killing them ( unless the Safer soap works) and something really weird devouring the cones on my beautiful little spruce tree I dug up and brought home about 14 years ago! I have to drag a ladder out teeter on the slope and take a photo for the co-operative extension……
The choke cherry trees just look sick, limp yellowish spotty leaves……….and a black fungus. It wasn’t like this 17 years when I first moved here……………..
( I am a landsape painter……….critically observant!)
fedupnj; have you gone to the New Brunswick Rutgers Campus with questions? They had a wonderful collection of exotic trees there last time I looked, 1983, they would know. I see Oldwicke is not too far from there.
Pat (05:15:42) :
Forgot to say, the garden was a disaster this year…… every pest known to man, too dry too wet…………Imagine a zuccinni plant that only produces 2 squash in a season.unheard of. Every gardener has a good recipe for zuccinni bread to take up the overage!

TewksburyObama (06:27:24) :
To: witsendnj
I think I know your property. Have you had someone from either URWA, as you’re in their watershed, or NJCF, as you’re also in the Black River Greenway, come in to look at your trees and make suggestions as to how to manage them?
Also, if you need to take the black walnut trees down the wood might sell for more than what it cost to remove the tree.

DrChill (16:46:46) :
witsendnj (16:18:31) :
Gail -
Have you contacted local colleges that offer environmental studies, or the EPA –
Sometimes it takes someone like you to make a few calls…
Good luck.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

the ups and downs

I've been posting comments over at, where passionate apocalyptic types are predicting all sorts of doom - and they don't budge when it comes to putting any faintly rosy cast on the likely future of forms of life on planet Earth. The scary thing is a lot of what is said there (though not all) makes perfect sense! Here's one exchange, if you want to cut and paste this link to follow it

and/or check out more pictures from the garden, which is ecstatically verdant, a riot of color and scent with a backdrop of tragic ephemerality.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A female Hispanic judge, oh my!

Now she is being attacked by the left, for not being reliably pro-choice!

Here was my comment on that:

This is such a stupid, outmoded debate. The world needs to reach agreement that whether by birth control, or abortion, we must limit ourselves to one child per family. Anything else is collective suicide. The planet cannot support 8 billion people.

Shut up about the stupid abortion garbage and lets focus on the survival of the human species, not to mention all the others we are fast driving into extinction.

Hey, I love babies and little children. Let's limit their supply and then they will be even more valued. Generation after generation, we can quickly get back to a sustainable population, with one-child per family.

Today I had occasion to drive over the Bernardsville Mountain. Okay...I had to pick up sushi to feed the Brat and the Boyfriend, and it was sort of on the way to the airport, from whence I had to chauffeur them home from getting scuba-certified in St. John, in time to get back to campus for graduation of aforementioned boyfriend...

Anyway, the Bernardsville Mountain has quite a few famous edifices built a century ago, when wealthy New Yorkers maintained their country retreats here.

These homes have been largely invisible because they have been sheltered by mature avenues of trees. Not so much anymore! The brick mansion and carriage house that look barren in these pictures have been recently exposed to view from the road, because they have had to remove the thickets of trees that protected them from public view. The owners have rather optimistically planted new trees, but these will undoubtedly fare worse still, as the climate continues its inexorable march towards warmer and drier conditions.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

comment to

"Why future Katrinas and Gustavs will be MUCH worse at landfall, Part Deux"

"We are stuck with a fair amount of warming over the next few decades no matter what we do."

Worth reading the whole post, to which I said:

From what I've read, here and elsewhere, this is indubitably correct.

The question is, how much warming, and how much more will be the contributions of the positive feedbacks that result from the inevitable "fair" amount of warming? How volatile will climate chaos be, from big fierce storms to the slowing of ocean currents, perhaps?

Of course, I believe no matter what, we must persevere in efforts to mitigate, and seek technological solutions, demand governments mandate reductions in carbon emissions, insist that the worst emitters help the less fortunate in developing countries who are most vulnerable to the adverse consequences of climate change.

But..but..but...I am interested in learning, just how much out-of-control warming are we already poised to endure? Should I dig a bunker and scrape together the money for a machine gun? Buy several year's worth of freeze-dried food and bottled water? Beg my children to give up their higher education and take a crash course in basic agriculture?

When even the experts, the scientists, seem overwhelmed by their own predictions, it's hard for ordinary folks to know what to think.

party's over

okay, it was a glorious weekend, for more pix of that go to my facebook page. Anyway, back to business, and check out the trees that are only partially leafing out. The first are in the hedgerows of fields. The rest are no further than the local shopping market at King's in Bedminster. Oh, is it something specific to there? Gee no, it's the same over at Wegman's, and up at the King's in Mendham, they cut them all down a couple of months ago.

Blog Archive

My Blog List

Search This Blog