Tuesday, March 21, 2006

First Came Winds - Then Came Snow

"Observations by Inuit should help to convince
the skeptics that climate change is a reality.
Inuit hunters are keen observers of the natural environment.
They have to be; they depend upon it for food."

Inuit Circumpolar Conference's
Arctic Climate Impact Assessment

Well, I'm no Inuit. I'm not an alarmist either. But let me share with you my observation of the natural environment I live in.

A week ago Sunday, it was a balmy 70 degrees outside. That evening, for the first time in over fifty years, not one but two tornados touched down in my quiet Midwestern town. We're not talking about a stiff breeze here ... both tornados were classified as F-2 and wiped out businesses and homes alike from the west side to the east side.

But that's not climate change. The Midwest is known for its tornados. Hail has to be golf ball sized before we even take it seriously. We're a city full of Lt. Dans all standing on our porches yelling up at the sky, "Is that the best you've got?!"

But here's where it gets weird ... one week after the tornados, we're experiencing a blizzard. Eight inches on the ground and more coming by the minute. Roads drifting shut. The picture above is the view from my office window. So, we're living with the extremes at this point. In one week we've gone from hot, humid, and stormy ... to cold, wet, and slick.

I'm not saying the world is ending. However, if you asked people in Fairbanks who exist around the permafrost, I'm betting they'd have a strong opinion on the subject. Me ... I'm putting together a tornado kit for the first time in my thirty-some-odd years and filling up the kerosene heater. In this day and age, I guess we have to be prepared for anything.

I took my love and I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide brought me down

Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

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