Summer 2012

June 21, 2012

Neighborhood first day of summer 2012

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

It’s official-the transition from yesterday into today marks the start of Summer 2012.  It was 80 degrees at 6 a.m.

Which is a good thing because when I left to go to the grocery store yesterday afternoon, my car’s thermometer registered 107 degrees-sitting for hours on hot asphalt will have that effect.  Once rolling, the temperature reading dropped to 97 and stayed there.  Sure was tough to eat frozen yogurt that refused to stay frozen.  Yes, I am glad it is summer-that is way too hot for Spring.

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today was supposed to be even hotter.  It is.

And yet the debate about climate change and our (humans) role in the warming of the planet appears to continue.  Yes, a couple of days a pattern does not make.  However, examining the climate data for the past bunch of years does a pattern make.  Mitt Romney has vacillated on his position regarding the topic (see here and here-scroll down this link to see how Pro/Con.org summarizes his position.  It is interesting to also read the next summary regarding Mr. Romney’s view about amending the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.)  President Obama’s positions on these same issues can be found here-as before, please scroll down to that content.  For the scientific view on climate change, please review the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change site here.  It is too bad for all that we cannot seem to get on the same page about climate change.

(Coincidentally, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+ 20”) produced “The Future We Want“, a document addressing the human issues involved in the viability our species and the planet.  It, too,  is worth a read.  Be prepared, though, as it is long and rambling.  As with climate legislation, there is nothing definitive here as nations could not reach any agreements.  It is also quite a commentary that we continue to have to talk about these issues in the 21st century.)

Traffic on Beltway

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given that the political will to address climate change in a meaningful way appears non-existent, it seems that it really is up to each one of us to do our part to fix the planet.  Of course, that means we have to recognize the danger, and therein lies the real problem.  We, as a species in general, are often more invested in other issues.  At this point in time, those economic concerns that continue to roil the global markets and individual pocketbooks appear to have our attention.  These are important issues not to be minimized.  And yet, without a sustainable planet, the artificially created commerce that is so paramount in our lives now is actually quite meaningless.  Arguably, many aspects of that commerce, transportation, for instance, are in fact responsible for this problem.  Fortunately, as both Mr. Beavan and Mr. Humes point out, this is one problem where each one of us can act unilaterally and responsibly without waiting for others.

However, it can take quite a while before people realize a problem exists, let alone figure out and implement the steps necessary for it to be resolved, as I can certainly attest.   This process is detailed by Prochaska and DiClemente’s Transtheoretical Model .  While I would consider myself to have been in the “Maintenance” stage for years regarding my impact on the environment in terms of recycling and eating (vegetarian), the recent epiphany about my own behaviour and the need to get out of the “it is okay to buy plastic because I am making sure to recycle it” mindset, absolutely indicated that I was in the Pre-Contemplation stage with regard to consumption.  Reading Beavan’s and Humes’ books, along with The Plastic Ocean, has had a tremendous impact on my psyche and moved me to think about, and implement, some new behaviours so as to reduce my stuff.

The bottom line is that I find it difficult to deal with such temperatures and humidity, especially when I can do something about it.

This is just the first day of the Summer of 2012.

Take care.

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