February 2016

March 19, 2016

BW photograph of a bunch of daffodils in a vase.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

According to NOAA, February 2016 was the hottest in recorded history.  Not only that, but it broke records for the largest margin of hotness (yes, that is not really a word, especially in this context) as this past February was 2.18 degrees above the norm.  Please read the linked report for the details.

Yesterday, Science Friday broadcast a segment on the teaching of climate change in the classroom.  Part of that discussion revolved around the risks of covering this topic as some climate change information could prove to be overwhelming.  That is a fair point, which also must be balanced against the consequences of not discussing climate change at all. (It is worth listening to entire Science Friday segment.) When discussing the impact of climate change, it is beneficial to also include the interventions that can be applied to mitigate and/or adapt to the warming of the planet.  There are many relatively simple day-to-day changes that individuals can make to lessen their impact.  At the same time, the problem has reached a point wherein much larger scale global governmental efforts are needed to address climate change.  Given that the United States is deep into the 2016 presidential race, it is worth investigating what the candidates have to say about climate change.  It is also important to know about the recent Supreme Court decision to block the implementation of President Obama’s and the EPA’s limits on power plant emissions pending the outcome of lawsuits filed by “industry groups and about 20 states”, as reported in the linked article.  Doing nothing or maintaining the status quo will most certainly make the problem worse.

BW photograph of a pine tree with snow falling.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As this is being written, it is snowing-the forecast includes the possibility of up to 1.5″ of whiteness before this event has finished.

Take care.

 

Displacement

March 10, 2016

BW photograph of two concrete bumpers that have been moved from a parking lot.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The blizzard of 2016 left so much snow in some areas that plows were unable to make much headway in clearing it.  As a result, front end loaders were used to move the snow from one area to another.  On occasion, additional objects were also scooped up and displaced, as depicted in the above photograph.  It would have taken such a machine to lift, move, and drop these relatively heavy bits of formed concrete.  The goal was to move the snow as quickly and as efficiently as possible-anything else that was picked up simply became part of the process.

BW photograph of a concrete bumper that has been moved and has broken into three pieces.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Inevitably, with such dramatic movement, things will be broken.

In keeping with the theme of the previous post, these concrete bumpers are being used as a metaphor for the displacement of people worldwide.  For example, the war in Syria started five years ago this month.  During that time, hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions have been displaced; many of those in both categories have attempted to make it to Europe.  One of the fundamental principles of the European Union was the concept of open borders.  However, these mass movements of people from one country to the next can, and often does, create political, economic, and social destabilization in neighboring states/countries.  One can look back to the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990s and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 for other examples.  Natural disasters can create similar circumstances as evidenced by the relocation of so many before and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Such is the case within the EU-as a result of the thousands and thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing war-torn countries, many states in the EU are now closing their borders-please be sure to read this report from NPR.  Children often suffer the most in such situations, as this report from NPR and Save the Children documents.

There are many NGOs working to help the people struggling with conflicts and natural disasters around the world-UNHCR, Medecins Sans FrontieresThe World Food Programme, as well as the aforementioned Save the Children, are just a few.  Within the United States, should a refugee be granted such status, the International Rescue Committee can provide assistance.  They, of course, need the requisite financial support to continue their work.

Imagine a world that does not need these kinds of programs.  Once you have finished with that fantasy, imagine what the world would look like without these kinds of programs.

Take care.

 

The End

March 7, 2016

BW photograph of a sidewalk that ends in a strip of grass.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Think of all the metaphors for the above photograph.

In 1967, The Doors released their eponymous first album, which contained a song entitled “The End”.  While it is quite haunting and dramatic, if you are unfamiliar with the work, please just know that some may find the lyrics offensive, if not disturbing.  Perhaps that is why Francis Ford Coppola used it as the soundtrack for the introductory scenes of Apocalypse Now.  It is interesting that a song entitled “The End” opens a movie.  Given the narrative that follows, one could argue that it is quite fitting.

BW photograph of a pair of rusty channel lock pliers laying in the grass.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And so here we are:  the end of winter (it was 63 degrees today, but that happened earlier this year, so one is advised to not get too excited about that…yet); the coming of the end of Daylight Savings Time (if you are in a part of the world with that practice); and most certainly…

BW photograph of silhouetted trees at twilight.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

the end of the day.

Take care.

Recycle?

March 5, 2016

BW photograph of a plastic bin brimming with throw away plastic, some cardboard boxes, and styrofoam peanuts

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

How many of the materials pictured here can be recycled?

Hopefully, that is what will happen.

Take care.