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

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

PHOTOGRAPHER NOTE:  The above photograph is from Bethany Beach following a tropical storm.

Yesterday, NPR’s 1A had a discussion about Tangier Island and it is worth a listen.

Climate change does indeed present an unpleasant reality for many.  The notion that a way of life lived for generations may no longer be possible is very difficult to contemplate, let alone actually face.  Years ago, I learned a definition of denial that I came to appreciate:  “Denial provides a sense of security or buffer against an unacceptable reality.”  (Unfortunately, I do not recall the source of the definition.) In that sense, denial is a coping mechanism-an ineffective one in the longer term, but it does take the sting out of the short-term.  However, to continue to deny the existence of climate change and its human basis in the face of scientific evidence, or worse, to support politicians, ideas (which include the questioning of the fundamental scientific processes resulting in the data), and policies that will exacerbate the problem, is a willful refusal to accept things as they are and are becoming.  Meanwhile, fires burn, floods inundate, and droughts bake in the time of now.

It is important that one caller advised Mr. Johnson about his mischaracterization of Tangier Island as the initial population to be relocated.  Here is an article regarding Isle de Jean Charles from two years ago-please also give this a read.

Climate change and the need for mitigation and adaptation cannot rationally be denied regardless of how uncomfortable that may be.

Take care.

Retreat

July 28, 2018

BW photograph of the origins of the Nisqually Glacier on Mt. Rainier.

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

This post is a follow-up to the last regarding the global effects of climate change.  In this particular case, the photo essay herein addresses the Nisqually Glacier, which is located in Mount Rainier National Park.  The photograph above is Mt. Rainier with the peak obscured by clouds.

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 National Park Service provides information about the glaciers on Mt. Rainier.  Included are many other links and a time-lapse that demonstrates the “…dynamic nature of glaciers as rivers of ice.”

BW photograph of the Nisqually Glacier path with the low flow of the Nisqually River-looking into the river from above.

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

The previous post was about global temperatures and climate change.  Glaciers are another strong source of evidence regarding the impact of the increase of greenhouse gas emissions and the subsequent rise in global temperatures.  Such is the premise of photographer James Balog’s Extreme Ice Survey.  Mr. Balog also used time-lapse photography and video imagery of glacial retreat as a means of presenting visual evidence of climate change.  His work is available via a variety of resources, including this NOVA episode, a TED Talk, and the feature-length documentary entitled Chasing Ice.  It is significant to note that the imagery contained in these presentations is well over a decade old at this point.

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 Nisqually Glacier has retreated far up the valley.

BW photograph of the Nisqually Glacier path with the low flow of the Nisqually River-the bridge is to the right.

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

The bridge over the valley is to the far right of the above photograph-this was the vantage point from which all of the images herein were made.  The NPS describes the changing nature of the Nisqually Glacier, which at one point extended from Mt. Rainier in the far distance as shown in the previous photograph, down through the valley, and to the site of the current bridge.  This is clearly no longer the case.

Global extremes in temperatures and their subsequent consequential impact, the increase in the severity of storms, flooding, (as an aside, Japan is bracing for a tsunami, which is about to hit areas most recently flooded), and glacial retreat.  Examining the visuals makes it extremely difficult to deny climate change…not that that stops those who do.

Take care.

Heat and Wet

July 25, 2018

BW photograph of Morgan Run flowing between rocks the day after a heavy rain.

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

NPR’s 1A aired this discussion today addressing the record-setting heat being experienced globally.  Mentioned in the report were the fires in Athens, Greece; the 84 wildfires currently burning in the U.S. (including in Yosemite Valley); and that Death Valley, “the hottest place in the world”, set a record yesterday with a temperature of 127 degrees.  Seattle and Phoenix also factored into the discussion.

BW photograph of Morgan Run the day after heavy rain.

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

The other end of the spectrum would be the rainfall in the Mid-Atlantic region, which was also part of the discussion.  Flash flood warnings were issued for yesterday and again today in the Washington, D.C. area.  The photographs here are of Morgan Run, which was running higher than usual today…

BW photograph of some sticks laying on a rock after a flood.

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

but had clearly receded since yesterday’s downpours.

BW photograph of a broken mailbox after a flood.

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

It is important to recognize that both the increased temperatures and rainfall are a reflection of the overall heating of the planet-clear signs of climate change.

Interestingly, I was in Seattle this past Sunday and locals were pointing out that it was quite hot for the area.  However, while hot, it was also dry there.  As such, it was not much of a preparation for the heat and humidity back here in the East.

Importantly, the 1A discussion also included methods by which to cope with the heat and humidity.  This information is particularly helpful for the safety of “vulnerable populations”, but all are susceptible to being adversely affected by these well-beyond-warm conditions.

Please be sure to listen to the discussion and implement the appropriate measures.

Take care.

 

Backdated: July 5, 2018

July 15, 2018

BW photograph looking west down Thames Street before sunrise.

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

BW photograph looking from Fells Point toward the Chesapeake Bay at sunrise.

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

BW photograph of the City Pier in Fells Point at sunrise.

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

I have finally gotten back to completing this post, which was begun on July 5.

These photographs were made early on the morning of July 5.  This area had been under high temperature/high humidity conditions that had pushed heat indexes into the triple digits during that week.  As such, when out and about, it was important to stay well-hydrated so as to stave off heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  While temperatures have moderated a bit, we still have August on the way…

BW photograph of a partially full water bottle atop a granite step.

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

BW photograph of a water bottle laying in the gutter.

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

BW photograph of a water bottle laying in the gutter.

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

BW photograph of a partially full water bottle laying at the base of a street light.

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

However, it is also important to properly dispose of the containers for those fluids-especially when single-use containers are employed.  This recent article from National Geographic details the enormity of the problem that plastic presents.  The following is a quote from an earlier National Geographic article:

“The new study, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances, is the first global analysis of all plastics ever made—and their fate. Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink.”

The plastic bottles shown above are four that did not initially make it to a recycling bin on July 4th.  Just as important, two of them still contained a fair amount of water.  On that note, here is some information related to the wasting of water, while this site addresses the worldwide lack of access to improved water sources and the concomitant problems associated with that.

Remember Flint, MI? (And that is not the only city in the U.S. with water issues.)

Take care.

Plastic Proliferation

June 27, 2018

BW photograph of caution tape laying on the grass.

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

The June 2018 issue of National Geographic contained a provocative question on its cover:  “Planet or Plastic?”

BW photograph of a plastice tea bottle laying amid some leaves.

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

The main article began with these words:  “We made it.  We depend on it. We’re drowning in it.”

BW photograph of a straw and lid laying in the grass.

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

The portraits included in this post are simply examples of what we leave behind on our travels.

BW photograph of a plastic cup laying in a gutter.

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

The article in the magazine details the consequences of a dependency on plastic, which include the dangers to the various biologicals who encounter the substance-humans are not exempt.

BW photograph of a broken plastic bottle laying on top of the dirt.

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

 

BW photograph of a mostly full plastic soda bottle laying in a gutter.

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

 

BW photograph of a mostly full plastic water bottle laying amid some plants.

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

 

BW photograph of several trash/recycling bins.

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

Reduce, reduce, reduce…and find other alternatives.

Take care.

Need for Zen

May 8, 2018

BW photograph of flowing water.

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

There are some days that require a larger dose of Zen than others.

BW photograph of a branch over flowing water.

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

Today is one of those days.

BW photograph of flowing water.

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

Being an informed citizen brings with it the risk of riding the roller coaster of daily news.  Much like the “weather whiplash” moniker from the last post, that phrase would appear to be applicable for many other subjects as well.  Simply replace “weather” with whatever stories dominate a given day.  Chances are, within a few days, there will be something else that comes to the fore and demands one’s attention.

There are at least two dangers with such a rapid cycle of news.  The first is the criticality of the displaced issues being lost-out of sight, out of mind.  The second is the numbness that accompanies an overload of one’s senses.

As such, it is evermore important to maintain an individuated sense of balance and perspective.  This includes recognizing the options available for legitimate action.

Tuning out is not a productive long-term option.

Take care.