Climate Change

August 9, 2018

BW photograph of the Nisqually Glacier path with the low flow of the Nisqually River.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The cover headline of this issue of The Economist reads “In the line of fire: Losing the war against climate change”-inside are several articles that amplify the concern.  It is worth a read.

Take care.

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Detour

August 6, 2018

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Between here and there is the small town of Detour, Md.  My first recollection of Detour was when it flooded in 1972 as a result of Hurricane Agnes.  At the very western edge of the town is the Double Pipe Creek, which has left its banks multiple times over the decades flooding and/or endangering the homes and businesses there.  The above photograph was made at 9:13 a.m. on August 4, 2018…the date of the most recent flooding.

In comparison to many other parts of the world, which are experiencing extraordinarily high temperatures and often accompanying droughts, the local area has been inundated by rain.  This report provides an explanation for the seemingly contradictory weather patterns produced by the overall changing of the global climate system.

BW photograph of a fallen sycamore tree against an overpass.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As a reminder, the above photograph was posted to this blog on May 24, 2018 and shows the water level of Double Pipe Creek just beyond the tree roots in the foreground-a period of very heavy rain had preceded this event.

This past Friday and early Saturday morning brought yet another series of drenching rainfalls.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris is against the bridge.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The above photograph was made at 9:17 a.m. and shows the resulting water level of Double Pipe Creek-the debris pictured here is just about at the point where the sycamore tree trunk is laying atop the bridge in the previous image.

BW photograph of Detour with Double Pipe Creek flooding its banks onto a road.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:21 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-debris and a flooded fence are in the foreground.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:26 a.m.

Double Pipe Creek had once again broached its banks.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the half-wheel height.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

9:29 a.m.

BW photograph of Detour showing the elevated water level of Double Pipe Creek-a moving truck has water to the two-thirds wheel height.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

11:10 a.m.

Importantly, the water level had not as yet crested when these photographs were made.  Look closely at the wheels of the truck in both:  the water was still rising across that time span.

Meanwhile, today 1A aired this discussion regarding the current administration’s efforts to freeze the standards for fuel economy and emissions-it is worth listening to the disagreements and points made by the various guests, which highlight both the complexity of this issue as well as the conclusions drawn from particular data points.  The environmental impact of auto emissions is the connection to this post-it is also another example of the U.S. withdrawal from longer-term active measures to address climate change, which is the fundamental basis for the patterns of such extreme weather events.

Take care.

 

Evidence

January 7, 2018

BW photograph of an icy Morgan Run and some rocks.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This is a follow-up to the previous post.

The bomb cyclone that tore up the East Coast over the past couple of days has moved on, but it is still frigid (single digit if not below zero ambient temps with wind chill factors that makes the air much colder) in many areas.   However difficult this has been, and this is not at all to minimize the loss of life and inhospitable conditions (which was the reason for the homeless statistics previously posted) created by the combination of extreme cold, snow, wind, and flooding, it is still a relatively isolated (chronologically speaking), short-term event.

In Alaska, the problem is a bit different.

In addition, all along the perimeter of the United States, residents are dealing with a much more longer-term issue: habitat loss due to sea and flood-level rise as a result of climate change.  Given the current administration’s on-going commitment to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, this is a very real problem of the now, not the future.

BW photograph of a lone tree against a large rock with layered snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given that mitigation is clearly not an option until there is a willful political change in thinking and action (the mid-term elections later this year?), adaptation becomes a “solution”.  However, as the above report (linked under “habitat loss”) indicates, the funding for such large-scale efforts is sorely lacking, particularly for the more fiscally challenged portions of the country.  Even in relatively affluent areas, the drop in real-estate values makes for an economic dis-incentive.

Economics aside, the need for re-location also creates a titanic change in the culture for coastal residents, particularly for those whose livelihood has been linked to the land and water for generations.

BW photograph of a snowy trail leading into the woods at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There are no easy ways to deal with climate change.  Having said that, this is a problem that will only escalate as time moves on and efforts at mitigation are ignored or “rolled-back”.

Take care.

 

 

 

 

Deep Cold

January 4, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run after a recent snowfall in a cold spell.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, indeed.

BW photograph of a section of Morgan Run frozen by winter temps.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And then there is this and this…take note of the use of the word “bomb” in this context.

BW photograph of a stick laying upon a rock surrounded by crystallized snow.

Copyright 2018 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Given the content of the above reports, there are larger numbers also worthy of attention.  According to the 2016 Annual Report on Homelessness as prepared by Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, the PIT (Point In Time) count yielded 7,352 people experiencing homelessness in Baltimore.  The PIT is done on one night during the last two weeks in January.  According to the same report, the Annualized number (the number served in shelters and other types of housing between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016) grows the population experiencing homelessness to 29,670.

According to the 2016 Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress, there were 549,928 people experiencing homelessness in the United States on one night in January when the count was made.  22% of those were children.  39,471 were Veterans.

Take care.

Exposure and Privacy

January 1, 2018

BW photograph of a toilet sitting in a store window.

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

Exposure in the age of digital, and especially when using a cell phone, photography has undergone a sea change.  Arguably, today’s technology has rendered this as a non-issue to the degree that many most likely have no idea what their devices are doing when a photograph is taken.  In the days of film photography, as a direct result of the nature of that medium, the resulting photograph was heavily dependent on exposure, especially when using slide film.  The photographer needed to be precise with regard to the interaction of ISO, shutter speed, and aperture setting in order to achieve optimal results.  Print film was much more forgiving in that regard.  While it remains a truism that there is no single ‘best” exposure for any given scene, there sure are multitudes of mistakes to be made when transforming light into pixel response.  Software applications can “repair” a great deal of this (the aptly named “fix it Photoshop” or “FIPS” approach) and automatically in many cases; however, it is still generally useful to start with the ISO, shutter speed, aperture setting for the desired effect.  Otherwise, one is just taking chances.  Of course, the photographer may be perfectly comfortable with the device being in charge and may not consider, or even be aware of, the risks.

The word “exposure” also has other meanings-more on that in a bit.

Privacy seems to be nearly as antiquated a concept as photographic exposure in this digital era.  EULAs (End User Licensing Agreements) are quite long, complex, and written in legalize that (almost) guarantees that they will not be read.  Just click “Yes” and move on.   The problem is, of course, that buried within the EULA is the language related to what a given company can do with the data mined from the consumer’s use of a product or service.  As such, it is important to recognize that the consumer is (generally) not the manufacturer’s/service provider’s customer-advertising companies are.  Such companies pay for access to the consumer’s data so as to be able to specifically target ads for products/services based on a consumer’s browsing/purchasing history.

Therein lies the link between exposure and privacy.  The more cavalier one is about accessing sites and signing EULAs, the greater the likelihood that, at some point, one becomes vulnerable to identity theft.  The recent Equifax breach is one such example.

One would do well to keep from having their privacy as exposed as the above photograph implies.

Take care.

Coffee

December 1, 2017

 

BW photograph of a strongly-lit coffee cup.

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

Yes, the availability of good coffee, preferably at an independently owned shop, is very much a key to the walkability of a place.

Coffee is an integral part of global history and culture, and therefore very much open to a sociological view.  One of the major sociological theories is Symbolic Interactionism, which essentially argues that societies attach meaning to words and concepts-and it is the interpretation of those meanings that is critical to understanding a given group.  With that in mind, this is an anecdote from a wander in Los Angeles:  Every now and then when walking, I order a decaf, sugar-free, skim milk, vanilla latte.  Given that it is somewhat frightening when I hear myself make that order, I usually just get regular decaf coffee.  However, on that particular occasion, I went with the latte.

In keeping with the attachment of meaning to words, having ordered the latte described above, the barista said “We call that a ‘why bother?'”.

Take care.

Hurricane Season

September 27, 2017

BW photograph of a bike rack flooded by Hurricane Jose at Bethany Beach.

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

This is a photo essay showing the standing water that remained a couple of days after having been left by Hurricane Jose as it passed by Bethany Beach.  Jose remained off the coast, and so this part of the world was spared the massive damage generated by the 2017 Hurricane Season (thus far).  Such is not the case for other parts of the mainland U.S. and several of the islands in the Caribbean.

BW photograph of the Hurricane Jose's flooding of Bethany Beach.

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

BW photograph of the Hurricane Jose's flooding of Bethany Beach.

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

BW photograph of the Hurricane Jose's flooding of Bethany Beach.

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

BW photograph of a flooded storm drain in Bethany Beach.

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

NPR’s 1A broadcast a program dedicated to the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico.  This discussion addressed the breadth and depth of the humanitarian, political, economic, and social issues generated by this disaster.  Several important historical points that have contributed to the current crisis are included.  Mr. Johnson’s opening lines encapsulate what follows.

Take care.

UPDATE:  This link addresses The Jones Act mentioned in the above discussion, and this link provides more details regarding the extreme hardships being experienced in Puerto Rico.