Fall 2017

September 20, 2017

BW photograph of fall debris.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The official start of Fall 2017 is right around the corner.

BW photograph of a foggy river.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As last week closed, the days generally started with decidedly cooler temperatures.

This week, though, has seen a return to more summeresque conditions-higher temperatures and humidity.  The week also brought a continuation of natural disasters:  Hurricane Jose has created some disruption for the Mid-Atlantic, and Hurricane Maria has torn up several countries on her march westward.  Time will tell if she is destined for the U.S.

Violent weather patterns are not the only issue as we make this transition:  Mexico had a 7.1 earthquake.

Hurricane season officially ends on November 30.  There is no “season” for earthquakes-they are the result of geology.  Such quakes are not unique to Mexico-in 2015, Nepal experienced a 7.8 quake.  The U.S. is still waiting for “The Really Big One”.

Just as human lifestyles have contributed to climate change and the subsequent increase in massive storms, not to mention our propensity to drain wetlands and build close to shorelines, which makes the infrastructure more susceptible to flooding and storm surges; human activity also plays a role in some earthquakes and the subsequent damage done.  Part of this is due to the location and the manner in which buildings are constructed-the latter point is especially true for less developed countries-but here in the U.S., many are related to our energy production needs/methods-please read this and this.

Condolences to all who continue to suffer through these catastrophic events.

Take care.

 

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Nature’s Elements

September 9, 2017

BW photograph of a sycamore leaf laying atop a rock.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is a brief photo essay referencing some of nature’s fundamental elements.

BW photograph of hickory leaves on the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a poplar leaf laying on the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a poplar and sycamore leaves laying on the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The other day we had some rain and wind.  As a result, trees shed some leaves, which then, through the power of gravity, came to lay upon the ground.

That combination produced microcosms that are at once peaceful, simple, and elegant.

Those very same elements, however, when working on a much larger scale, produce quite a different effect.

Take care.

More Skeptics-More Storms

September 5, 2017

BW photograph of clouds over Frederick. MD.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The president has nominated candidates for two more positions.  The linked reports below from NPR contain information related to their respective views on climate change (among other issues):

Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Dr. Sam Clovis

BW photograph of a Marlboro sign laying in a parking lot.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Irma is now a Category 5 storm and creating havoc-Florida appears to be within her sights.  This quote from The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is rather significant:

“Irma is the strongest hurricane the NHC has ever recorded in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, the agency says.”

Another storm, Jose, is developing in her wake.

NASA, the organization that Rep. Bridenstine has been nominated to lead, has published this information regarding human involvement in climate change.  That report also links the fifth report presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which:

“…concluded there’s a more than 95 percent probability that human activities over the past 50 years have warmed our planet.”

Please give that a look as well.

Parts of Texas and Louisiana are still having a rough go of it from Harvey-this report discusses the overall potential cost of the damage done.  Hurricane Katrina remains the standard, but that could change.

All of this highlights perhaps the most profound of the human effects driving climate change-the capacity to ignore the science, focus on the short-term, and engage in confirmation bias.

Take care.

P.S. This is what is happening simultaneously on the West Coast.

Torrents

September 1, 2017

BW photograph of dark and light clouds with a tree in the foreground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Harvey has set a U.S. record for the amount of rain dropped by a single storm in the history of recording such things.

Attention here is focused on Texas and Louisiana, and the other states impacted as Harvey moves north and east-what remains will most likely arrive in this area Saturday. On the other side of the world, South Asia has been hammered with torrential monsoons.  Last month, Sierra Leone experienced this.  The death tolls for both Harvey and the monsoon in India continue to rise.

The property damage caused by Harvey has yet to be determined-that should provide an interesting comparison to Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.

While some politicians have said this is not a time to discuss climate change, as that would be “playing politics”, at what point will the severity of climate change get the full attention of those with the power to make large-scale systemic changes?  Four years is an awful long time to wait, and there are no guarantees then.

An awful lot of losses can accrue over that span.

There is another issue to address as well-the human factor.  The above incidents are referred to as “natural disasters”.  However, that grossly overlooks the human factor.  The failure of New Orleans’ levee and seawall system has been widely documented.  (As an aside, New Orleans had flooding earlier this year due to many pump failures.).  NPR published this report regarding Houston.  Part of what contributed to the flooding in Mumbai was clogged storm drains due to the amount of trash generated-poverty and poor infrastructure add to the problems.

One thing is certain, though:  these “100 year storms” are occurring with greater and greater frequency.  When there are weaknesses in the social structure, they will increase the risk to the population.

The clouds in the above photograph?  They produced not a drop of water.

Take care.

Rock

August 27, 2017

 

BW photograph of rock with steps and cracks.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed the tactility of rock.

BW photograph of striated rock.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Rubbing fingers across to experience the smooth or roughness.

BW photograph of striated rock with vertical cracks.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Examining the striations (as in the case of those here), or the cubes, or whatever the geologic processes produced.

BW photograph of striated rock with one vertical crack.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Feeling the heat or deep cold as absorbed.

I have deliberately eliminated any visual clues as to the size of these.  Sometimes it is best to let the mind wander and wonder…

Take care.

Hurricane Harvey, Pt. II

August 26, 2017

BW photograph of Morgan Run rushing past.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall last night.

BW photograph of a fallen leaf laying on a rock with a background of rushing water.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This storm is forecast to produce prodigious amounts of rain-rain that is measured in feet.  That goes along with the hurricane-force winds and accompanying storm surge.  The damage produced in East Texas and West Louisiana will be magnified as Harvey will most likely meander around for several days rather than dying off.  While science indicates that climate change may not increase the number of storms experienced, those that do develop will be intensified-the warm waters of the Gulf and the ambient air temperatures have provided ample fuel as Harvey spun up.  These numbers are significant given that the current administration is bent on the increasing extraction and burning of fossil fuels, which makes sense given that the president has said climate change is a “Chinese hoax”.

Tell that to those in Harvey’s path.

It is also important to remember that the fossil fuel industry is quite active in Texas.

Take care.

 

Hurricane Harvey

August 25, 2017

BW photograph of clouds.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Hurricane Harvey sounds like the real deal.  Please keep those in its path in your thoughts and provide any assistance possible.  We are living in a time when the fractures in American culture are  widening-hurricanes care not a bit about that.  This is a time to put such differences aside and help as is possible.

In that, there is a powerful lesson to be learned.

Take care.