Derecho

July 5, 2012

Fallen limbs

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

The intense heat experienced in the Central and Mid-Atlantic regions led to some extreme storms this past Friday night, which are called derechos, as described here.  High winds caused many limbs to break and trees to fall and  left more than 500,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers in the greater Baltimore area without power-many of whom may not have power restored until next week.  (Four days after the storm, there were still over 170,000 BG&E customers without electricity; today, there are still thousands without power.)  Several local traffic lights are also non-functional, which makes for some interesting rides around town.   Businesses, too, are suffering as without power, modern commerce is difficult.  With the continued high temperatures, the lack of air conditioning has made it necessary to open cooling centers in many cities as the high heat can be dangerous to the very young and the elderly.  For others, it means a trip to the mall or a business that still has the ability to cool the air.  All of this is a reminder of how dependent we have become on electricity to maintain our lifestyle and health.

Fallen tree in Fells Point

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

Speaking of that last point, electric companies first work to restore power to hospitals and nursing homes, so those in residential areas close to such facilities often have their power restored before others who do not.

Broken limbs from storm

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

In addition to power outages, the storms also left behind property damage. In this case, one tree crushed two vehicles:

Van crushed by fallen tree limb

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

Van crushed by fallen tree limb

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

Van crushed by fallen tree limb

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

Car crushed by fallen tree limb

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

With today (July 5th) being another scorcher, it is worth remembering that on a day-to-day basis, the climatic conditions are referred to as “weather”.  If you examine the overall trend over years, the pattern that has been established is referred to as “climate change”.  For most of the United States, this trend has been one of warming temperatures.  The storms in the mid-west and east coast last week are one example.  The fires burning in Colorado are another example of weather-induced damage as the parched trees and ground covers make for a quick-burning fuel. This, in turn, has had some impact on the local economy of that state, as described here.

It is quite a vicious circle.  As we need more air conditioning to provide relief from the increased heat, we create more demand and stress on the electrical grid and the companies responsible for supplying that power, which in turn generate (no pun intended) more greenhouse gases.  Now, it must be said that this is a simplistic view of a complex problem, and there are other factors that influence climate change-please read about the impact of Agriculture.  In fact, peruse the EPA’s entire site for a more complete understanding of greenhouse gases.

The bottom line is this:  it is our culture, our lifestyle, that creates this mess.  And yes, this post is related to the others regarding trash, as that, too, is a reflection of the manner in which we treat our environment.   Many have said this and it does bear repeating-these, greenhouse gases and trash, are issues over which individuals have direct control.

Do Some Good cup in gutter

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

Take care.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: