Subtle Signs Of Climate Change
Amidst the drumbeats last Fall, which seemed to bring nothing but bad news about our changing climate and its perils to human health, came one small ray of hope. A new study out of Yale University demonstrated that nearly 3/4ths of American now believe in climate change. Not surprisingly, it was the calamitous effects of extreme weather events – the floods and the forest fires, for example – that largely accounted for this new wave of understanding.
Such environmental catastrophes are the big red flags of climate change – and, of course, we need to pay attention to them. But there are also quieter, more subtle signs of our changing world that are equally portentous.
During a recent break in our winter rains, I seized the opportunity to take a walk along a coastal bluff about 80 miles north of San Francisco. Taking a spur off the main trail, I was surprised to come upon a field of daffodils, as I rounded the bend. They lay near what appeared to be the remains of the foundation of a small building – perhaps an old sheepherder’s hut from an earlier time. The daffodils may have been planted by someone who hoped to tame and humanize an otherwise bleak and wind torn landscape. Though long abandoned by humans, the flowers had carried on, undisturbed by grazing deer – growing, blooming, and withering in annual cycles, year after year, for decade after decade, thereafter.
Just as a choking blanket of smoke last Fall brought home to many Californians the realization that climate change was the real arsonist behind those terrifying forest fires — so too, did the sighting of a beautiful patch of daffodils, blooming ‘out of season’, remind me that the hand of the demon of climate change is everywhere, operating at every level.[Read more…] about Skin Cancer: A Subtle Sign Of Climate Change