I can’t remember the last time we had a whole day during which it didn’t rain. We got an hour of partial clouds a few days ago — early in the morning. By noon, it was dark, grey, and raining.
It’s not cold. This is the kind of weather we usually get in April, not January. If it were normal temperatures for this time of year, we’d be getting snow and ice, not rain. Warm rain? In January? Maybe a day or two, but weeks of it?
One of the headlines of the Boston Globe was that we have had more rain this year than has ever been recorded and there’s no end in sight. All of this is following a drought which lasted almost a decade. It wasn’t as severe as the California drought, but the rivers ran dry and the fish died. The swans took flight and presumably went to wherever they could find water and something edible.
The thing is, most people — even people with whom I mostly disagree on pretty much every topic — are worried about the climate. Despite that, nothing is being done to fix it.
Let’s for a moment assume that it’s not too late to make repairs. Almost everyone agrees that we should do something except no one wants the inconvenience or disruption change will cause. What is being done is often causing more harm that good — cutting down the last woodlands to put in solar panels or wind turbines. All the little creatures that lived in those wood will die. Maybe the bears will move on, probably to anywhere they can find a few acres of trees, but the small creatures who have to run on their little short legs? Woodchucks, gophers, rabbits. Squirrels — red and gray — and flying squirrels. Even foxes and bobcats have less and less food to eat. I see far fewer hawks than I did. There are more predators than prey because so little land is available.
Birds are dying by the millions. I feed them and feel a deep sense of obligation to keep feeding them, even as the price of food keeps rising and the money we get for “retirement” shrinks. What will happen when I’m not here?
The world for birds is fragile. With each destruction of even a small woodland, it gets worse. We have lost more than 50 billion birds over the past 50 years. In other words, more than one billion birds every year. The rate of loss is not diminishing. Dozens have “officially” gone extinct, though for all practical purposes, they’ve been extinct for a long time.
Worse, people’s objections to having their world disturbed is the only thing politicians hear. They don’t hear people clamoring for change. They don’t want to hear it.
What politicians hear is the tired old lament: “Not in MY backyard.” As far as they are concerned, they are exactly where they want to be — doing nothing while declaring “climate change” is not “real.”
Meanwhile, the rain keeps falling. Our earth is all grit and mud. Wild growth has changed so much I don’t recognize most of the plants growing. I let my lawn grow long and don’t cut down hedges and tall bushes because we know birds nest there. Our huge forsythia hedge houses dozens of birds and nests.
I keep hoping that really, there’s something happening “out there” in the world and it’s so secret, it hasn’t hit the news. That’s what I want. If you want to argue that the speed of climate change is slower than it seems to be and that whatever it is we are doing — which as far as I can tell is nothing — will work, fine. But don’t tell me it isn’t happening because it obviously, blatantly, IS happening.
Just look out a window. Your eyes do not deceive you. It’s flooding or burning, or raining. There’s nothing “normal” about it. And until we do something to change it? It will never be normal. If we wait a little longer, it will be too late. I worry that it is already too late.