Posted by: atowhee | August 6, 2021

WHITHER? PERCHANCE TO WITHER

If you can stand to notice, the effects of climate change are abundant and all about us. Right now wildfires are the most dramatic. Greece. Turkey, Hawaii. The Pacific Slope has dozens of fires now, many started by reecent lightning storms. The worst are in California where two small mountain towns have now been destroyed. Oregon and Washingtin State also have multiple fires burning.

It seems as if every mistake our species makes ends up in the ocean. Old canisters of radioactive waste. Your sunscreen. Mercury from old gold mines. Every toxic chemical used in industrial farming and livestock business.
So what’s it doing? Killing the ocean. This is close to home with some of those marine dead zones off the Oregon Coast.

The climate changes may not leave the Gulf Stream alone–those repurcussions would be hemispheric if not global.

Drying climate means more stagnant water, and that may mean a lot more West Nile, already a disease found in North America thanks to our warming climate. Many innocent creatures will suffer from more West Nile, animals that have nothing to do with messing up the climate and spreading the carrier mosquitoes and this infection–horses, corvids, my beloved Great Gray Owls. Almost twenty years ago West Nile spread westward across North America and in one case wiped out all the Great Gray Owls in a rescue facility in Minnesota–the cages had no mosquito netting. Previosuly the notorious mosquito herds in Minnesota had not carried the disease and the owls had no resistance.

Drying streams and lakes will affect many aspects of daily life. In California low water has shut down Lake Oroville’s hydroelectric production. The current California climite does not support the continuation of recent agricultural peroduction patterns–especially vulnerable to higher price/lower production are water-intense items: cows, almonds, rice, avocadoes. And those low river levels are found across the west…Hoover Dam holds back little water on the Colorado…and here in “rainy” Oregon the Willamette now is so slow and hot it may be dangerous to your dog. Toxic algae.

Maybe it’s not so cool as cockatoos opening Aussie garbage cans, but our own Yank squirrels are found to be great acrobats, gold medal quality.


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