Day by day the tasks ahead of me fall to the rear. This weekend my dad and myself completed the monumental task of moving everything I’ve ever collected into a storage unit, or as for gardening stuff, to my old hunters cabin, which is on the land I bought in a kind of mid-life crisis while going to school. I need to get some rain barrels, but I hope that place will be a great spot for me to build once my wanderlust has subsided into the ever present aches and pains of aging. I surmise that if I go to the property to post up for the winter, it would be possible that I would become comfortable and never leave on a sailing trip: Hence my persistence to run to the ocean. The most interesting thing that I saw on the drive was certainly a red motorcycle, a crotch rocket, which passed us three times while we were driving, at twenty-five miles per hour up monarch pass. The first time we had just started up the pass, and he passed us going down, knee out and leaning into the curve. The second he was unnoticed until he passed us at probably sixty miles an hour heading up the pass. Before we could make it to the top, again he was screaming downhill for another go at the curves. What a way to risk it all! Sheer cliffs on the south side if ever a tire should slip loose from it’s grip would deter me from ever making such a bold statement of my motorcycle skill. On a track is one thing, but WOW!
I harvested all of my squash in the garden including pumpkins, australian butternut, and a few patty pan. The garden is barely alive after many of the plants were wiped out by the freeze. There is a low spot at the bottom of the hill which allowed for some air movement, so that the tomatoes I have in the upper part made it out alive, this time. Even though my weeds have been neglected in the garden since the end of the peach season, I am sad to see it all go. I will certainly need gloves to get at the potatoes when I dig them due to all the sharp weed capsules. I hope I can roast a few of these squash over the campfire for dinner, perhaps in the deep red desert of Utah.
I am embarrassed to say that I saw the presidential debate on monday night. The presidential election has turned into a blatant entertainment event. Neither of these people are worthy of the presidency, and the country should act accordingly. The revolution does not start at the poling booth, it starts when the people refuse to submit to the tyranny that has crept up on them over the last two hundred years. Its YOUR job to fight it citizen.
I changed my timing belt on my truck yesterday, having a few loose ends to finish up today: a gasket for the radiator hose, and tensioning all of the belts. I have always been fascinated by mechanical things. What genius to control so much by gear ratio’s and spinning pulleys. Working on cars feels like a fun puzzle. You take it apart, with a wrench here, or a socket and extension there, all the while keeping careful track of your sequences and parts. Unlike taking something electrical apart, you get the gist of the way something mechanical operates.
Since this is the first time I’ve talked of mechanical things, I also have to address climate change. Yes, it is a real thing. There are three facts that show the peril we are in, and each of these can be validated by a quick google search. Remember that it is your job to educate yourself ever since the internet made all information available to anybody and everybody? First, global temperature follows atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Second, the historical atmospheric carbon was cycling between 250ppm and 280ppm(by measuring the gas proportions in ice core samples way back). Our current ppm CO2 exceeds 400ppm, and in my lifetime atmospheric carbon will never be less than that. Third and finally, we have not slowed down the amount of CO2 that we are spewing into the atmosphere, and at the same time continually destroying our carbon sinks in the amazon and boreal forest. Four hundred ppm was a theoretical tipping point, at which some of the earths temperature mechanisms exacerbate the problem instead of fixing it. Permafrost, frozen for centuries, will thaw and release vast amounts of methane, which is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. As well, the melting ice caps will reduce the reflectivity of the planet(less reflective surface) causing more energy to be absorbed. As atmospheric temperature rises, so does the air’s ability to hold water(physics). We can all expect stronger storms(more thermal energy-enthalpy), localized droughts, flooding, sea level rise, and loss of habitat for many of the plants who established themselves hundreds of years ago. If you look at the forest service map of projected habitat change (temp and precip) it becomes readily apparent that long established trees are going to find themselves without adequate precipitation in the near future, needing to become higher in elevation(precip and elevation are correlated) instantly, but being rooted in the earth, unable to move. Sudden aspen decline is an example of this in Colorado.
The changing climate may be in a battle against capitalism. Both cannot continue to exist in my opinion. It is up to YOU which comes out on top. It all starts with your daily activities. Are you flying to LA again this week? Maybe give that job up. In reality, it will take system wide social changes to actually combat our problem, yet those changes would be considered fringe by most. I’ll try not to be despairing about our plight, but it sure is hard to watch the bleaching of coral reefs(CO2 absorbed by the ocean is one of the largest carbon sinks) and the die off of our forests. We certainly are not on a good path.