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Midsommar                                                             Most Heat Moon

Last week was mostly a loss. Not much done, either here on Reimagining or much else. More to come.

Climate Change Frontlines: U.S.A.

Spring                                                          Hare Moon

The southern and western arc of this trip took me into the frontlines of America’s struggle with climate change.  Of course, one of the ironies here is that it is red states or the red state’s territory of a blue state (California) who contain the heartland of climate change denial.  That means Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Utah and Nevada will confront adaptation with one intellectual hand tied by behind their back and their fingers crossed on the other one.  Which is not to say that these states lack climate change sophistication, far from it.  The Climate Change Institute at the University of Arizona has done a lot of work on water, water conservation and water policy, for example.

But in each of these states, my sample one newspaper per state with the exception of Arizona, some environmental challenge or another appeared in the paper and usually on the front page.  Water and the drought, of course, make up much of the coverage, but forest fire dangers, dust storms (haboobs), and the generation of electricity showed up, too.  Because their systems are already at extremes-water availability, summer temperatures, drought, dry forests and plains combined with high winds-as climate change begins to impact them their margins of safety are thin.

This means that they have to consider changes in the climate, no matter what they believe the source to be, and act to ameliorate them.  One example is the presence of waterless urinals and, I’m told, waterless toilets.  Flushing toilets and urinals uses a lot of water so the savings are not trivial, especially in large buildings.

Another, telling, water related action occurs this month as the Colorado sends a flood sized pulse of water into Mexico. (see below)  This is an attempt to heal the scar created from Yuma and the Gulf of California by diversion of the Colorado’s waters to Arizona, Nevada and California.  The former delta region that began in Yuma has become a long scab of crusted soil.

It is my sense that the Southwest will, despite itself, lead the way on climate change adaptation.  Not mitigation, they’ll resist it.  But adaptation will happen here because without it people and plants will suffer.  So I plan to keep an eye on the Southwest over the next few years, watching for what they learn.  We’ll all need it.

Where Great Wheel Is Going.

Spring                                                        Hare Moon

I gave Great Wheel a lot of thought on the way down.  I want a broad approach to sustainability, to creating a livable human presence on the earth, an approach broader than either the Great Wheel emphasis I began with or the climate change focus I considered during the Climate Change course.

This approach will combine horticultural thinking, phenological observation, astronomical events, and literary resources like book reviews with the hard science behind climate change (I’m still noodling the idea of a dashboard of key indicators), the political realities of the struggle to change our culture and the Great Wheel, calendar lore.

Once I get a rhythm going with it, which may take anywhere from weeks to a few months, I plan to do some sort of publicity campaign.  Not sure what that will look like right now, but I want to give Great Wheel a chance to reach a number of people in different places.

Finished

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Imbolc                                                              Hare Moon

The climate change course is finished, at least for me.  I took the final today, with a 100% on the second try.  I’m ok with that because I mandated to myself no studying for these exams.  I spent plenty of time reading and watching videos.  We’ll see what my final grade is, but no matter. I now have a understanding of the science behind climate change, a good grasp of the history of its reception, the political hurdles in the way of concerted action and the effect at micro-local levels of such efforts as clean burning cookstoves.

It will take a while for me to integrate the material with my own work, but I will.  I’ll let all of you know when I get there.

 

Bee Diary: February 2014

Imbolc                                                       Valentine Moon

Put on my Sorels and tramped out to the hive in above knee deep snow.  Lifted the lid mebee670050210and found no activity.  This was a strong colony, treated for mites, with plenty of honey stores.  This was definitely the best prepared colony for over-wintering that I’ve had. The only variable I can imagine that might have impacted them is the extreme cold. I did nothing more than the usual cardboard sleeve, which is usually enough.

Of course, colony collapse is a complex disorder and when your whole bee yard is one colony, you are sort of exposed.  All or nothing.

I may not have given them the outside access they needed either, through slippage of the sleeve but I don’t think that would materially them through the winter months.

Another 2 pound package will arrive in April.  I’ve got a new bee yard prepared with better northerly protection and good sun.  Maybe this winter.

Very Faint and Far Away

Imbolc                                                                             Valentine Moon

This is a picture from the Curiosity Rover on Mars showing Earth from the Perspective of Mars. You are literally looking at your home from the Perspective of another planet.

earth from mars by rover 2

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Winter                                                                        Valentine Moontumblr_mgdr76tPVy1qf4hg2o1_500

On this last day of winter (tomorrow begins the Great Wheel season of Imbolc) I just want to say.  Wow.  A great winter!  Polar vortexing is the way to go for a winter like the old days and I hope to go vortexing again next winter.  Some of you may not feel that way and that’s ok.  I understand.  No, really.  But as for me, give me below zero or give me spring.