March 2016

April 30, 2016

BW photograph of a flowering tree.

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

Hot on the heels of a December-February stretch that “…was 2.03°F above the 20th century average…”, came March 2016, which also set records for high temperatures.

Last week, the temperatures were in the low to mid 80s-this week it has been much different with temps in the mid to upper 50s.  It will be interesting to see the overall data for April 2016.

Take care.

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Food

April 24, 2016

BW photograph of a pizza in a trashcan.

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

Elizabeth Royte wrote that “About a third of the planet’s food goes to waste.  That’s enough to feed two billion people.”  Please see the March 2016 National Geographic for the full article.

BW photograph of a chopped corn field under a cloudy sky with a lone pine tree in the distance.

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

Given the impact of climate change on food production, that statistic becomes even more appalling.  Corn, for example, is often an essential ingredient for the food chain-it is a staple in the diet for many cultures; it is used in the feeding of animals; and, to the detriment of many, it is the principle ingredient in high fructose corn syrup, which is used in many high-caloric beverages and other foods.  (As an aside, corn is used in the production of ethanol as well.)  A mainstay of farming, corn requires quite a bit of water and, given the ongoing droughts, its production further stresses water-depleted areas.

Pizza becomes another example of an issue with our consumption, or lack thereof, of food.  When purchased in its completed state, one might not think about the resources that went into the growth, production, and transportation of the original ingredients used in making pizza.  Once assembled, it also requires a bit of energy to bake, which again, other than the time to wait for its arrival, may not be considered.  This serves to highlight how far removed many are from the source of their food and therefore makes it easier to simply throw away.

Take care.

 

Earth Day 2016

April 17, 2016

BW photograph of a plastic water bottle lying in a stream.

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

Earth Day is April 22, 2016.

BW photograph of a thrown away Minute Maid juice bottle lying in a pile of sticks

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

The photographs here are a reminder that there is still so much more to do to with our stewardship of the planet.

BW photograph of a frozen, frosty, water bottle laying in the grass

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

Climate change is not a new issue and is reflected in the following saying, which has been attributed to a Chinese proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.”

BW photograph of a nearly full Snapply bottle of tea lying in the woods.

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

If I could take the liberty to amend that saying, it would be: “The best time to have gotten serious about dealing with climate change was 20 years ago.  The second best time is now.  After all, “now” is what we have.”

BW photograph of a small bottle and a gum wrapper lying in a gutter.

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

BW photograph of McDonalds trash lying in the woods.

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

BW photograph of a bench with trash-plastic bags and bottles.

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

BW photograph of recyclable materials in a dumpster.

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

In addition to the required individual efforts at reducing, reusing, and recycling, not to mention making inroads on runaway consumption, much larger governmental efforts are needed.  There have been many posts about this, so I will not re-dress the reasons for that here.

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.

However, it is very important to recognize that some young adults in Oregon have won the right to sue the federal government for “failing to properly protect future generations from the dangers of climate change.” Please do read this for more information, which includes a legal rationale for this action.

Here’s hoping that suit moves forward and is successful.  The legal process will, of course, take time.  That is a concern as this, too, can become a mirror of the U.N. Climate Change negotiations over most of the past 20 years.  While countries took the time to argue about and delay larger-scale efforts at mitigation, the planet continued to get hotter.  And here we are.

Since we continue to move away from the past, the time certainly is now.

Take care.

Tilt

April 10, 2016

BW photograph of an iced-over puddle in April 2016.

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

Today is April 10, 2016.  As the sun was coming up, it was 26 degrees…

BW photograph of snow pellets laying on leaves and downed wood-April 2016.

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

and there was a dusting of snow from the precipitation of yesterday and last night.

Despite that local picture, and it is important to remember that the current below normal temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic and other regions of the United States are indicative of the overall warming of the planet, the Antarctic ice sheets are melting at a rate that would lead to a sea level rise of six feet or more by 2100, as reported here.  That link includes maps of several large U. S. cities that will be inundated by the rising seas-similar effects would occur in other low-laying parts of the world.  The increased melting of the Antarctic ice sheets exacerbates the co-occurring increased melting of the Greenland ice sheets, which are absorbing, rather than reflecting, heat due to the accumulation of soot, as reported here.  Given the decrease in ice mass and the re-distribution of water, there appears to have been an effect on the tilt of the Earth on its axis as well.  Please read the linked article as it also includes another issue affecting Earth’s land masses.

One would think that more than the planet would be on tilt over this information.

Take care.

Empty

April 1, 2016

BW photograph of an empty parking garage.

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

According to Merriam-Webster’s Pocket Dictionary, “empty” means: containing nothing; not occupied; lacking value, sense, or purpose.  Which of these definitions fit the photographs herein?

BW photograph of a mostly empty boarding gate at BWI.

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

Depending on the approach and interpretation, any of those meanings could work as a descriptor, including when making a judgment about the actual photographs.  One could certainly conclude that they “lack value”, especially if they do not fit one’s aesthetic.  It is important, though, to be clear about one’s intent when using the word empty.  For example, both photographs (mostly) display a lack of people and are therefore “not occupied”.  However, it might be harder to argue that the structures are “lacking a purpose”.

The point of making the photographs was to create a sense of emptiness, as in “containing nothing”.   There is something haunting about experiencing such openness when airports and parking garages are usually teeming with humanity.

Take care.