Part One: Climate Change Is Here

Today, It was 90° outside, and the air was so heavy that it seemed as though I could feel it press against me. Because of this, I set up a temporary office in our basement—or down cellar, as we would say in Maine. Once we had a family room in part of the basement, but when the kids left it became a sort of catchall, a jumble of castoffs that we aren’t ready to part with. Let’s just say that this room has zero ambiance, especially when you add the litter box for the cats.

But it was cool down cellar. I was not sweating as I typed on my laptop, and man oh man, was that a good feeling. To heck with ambience.

We have lived in this house in the woods for thirty-four years, and in the past the trees and the shade have protected us from the worst heat of summer. A fan in the attic was enough to cool the house down at night. For the most part, no air conditioner was wanted or needed.

How things have changed in thirty-four years. Our once pleasant Maine summers have become brutally hot, and there have been ozone alerts on the coast. Extreme fires are burning in this country and in other countries, too. In California, one fire was so hot and so large that it had its own weather pattern. There was even a fire tornado, something that sounds like it came straight from hell.

At least there are no fire tornadoes in Maine, and we have had enough moisture to keep us out of a drought.

But it is beyond my comprehension how anyone can deny that climate change is real and is happening right now. Some people do, but it seems to me that most folks, whether liberal or conservative, understand that a big change has come to this planet, and it’s not especially good for us humans.

In my heat-induced stupor, I accidentally published this before I was ready, and I know some of you have received the email notice. So consider this to be Part One, with more coming later this week.

In the next post, I’ll write about changes we are planning to make in our lives so that we are living more lightly, more minimally, more sustainably, whatever you want to call it. Because we are all responsible, at some level, for climate change, and while big corporations certainly must play a larger role in addressing the problem, I feel I must play my part, too.

Onward, ho!

 

 

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27 thoughts on “Part One: Climate Change Is Here”

  1. We lived in Kansas for over 30 years and also traveled to Texas to visit family. I did not garden in KS except for keeping trees and foundation plantings alive – too hot. When we moved to New Hampshire about 15 years ago, it was such a relief to get away from that heat and humidity. Now, it seems like we get wicked winters with storms that drop feet of snow instead of inches and summers like the south instead of the northeast. I’m with you – regardless of political affiliation, there is definitely major changes going on with the weather. It ‘felt’ like 102°F here today. Wicked hot.

    1. Oh, gosh! Wicked hot, is right. Nowadays, I don’t think you can move far enough north to escape the heat. There are fires in the Arctic circle in Norway, for heaven’s sake. Time for us all to act, regardless of our politics.

  2. Laurie, So glad you are sharing your thoughts on this issue. You and Clif are well read and have always expressed a concern for the environment. I appreciate any tips you can give.

    1. My head is buzzing with ideas, some of which I’ve gotten from my readers, who are a great comfort. And that, of course, includes you as I know you, too, are very concerned about the environment.

  3. I am glad that you appreciate the need for individual action. If things are going to change, the impetus will have to come from below. The rich correctly think (in the short term at least) that their money will enable them to escape from any climate problems so we cannot rely on government of the rich for the rich to help us at all.

  4. I live in southern California and have always lived very simply. I own a small 100 year old block and stone cottage under the shade of a tall sycamore tree in the back and a huge walnut tree in front. It was built to work with nature to stay cool. We have been here for close to 30 years and for the first time I am considering putting in central air. The summers have become more and more humid with over 100 degree temps day after day. The summer air is cleaner than when I grew up here due to emissions laws, which Trump wants to change, but the weather has changed from dry heat to humidity. I can relate to how uncomfortable you are! I’m looking forward to your next post to hear your insights about global warming!

    1. Thanks, Betsy! Your cottage sounds delightful. I love “It was built to work with nature to stay cool.” Beautiful words. Yes, the time might have come for you to have central air. High temps can be as deadly as very low temps. Must be taken seriously.

    1. No, they cannot. And except for some time away at college, I have lived in Maine. So I have really seen the changes.

  5. We have had an unusually col summer, but I do believe the planet is in serious trouble. I am on the same mission you are. I stay away from plastic as best I can- wish the grocery store would too! I use the cloth bags as you must too-bamboo straws and now make my own deoderant and toothpaste- I use shampoo bars too-small changes, but something! Godspeed to both of us!

    1. I think I could learn more than a thing or two from you. Yes to cloth bags. Thinking about shampoo bars, deodorant, and toothpaste. Thanks ever so much for the inspiration.

    1. Yes, yes, Xenia! I really feel the need to step up my game. I’ll be writing about this, but I hope not to the point where people’s eyes start to glaze. 😉

  6. Each day when I read the newspaper it seems that another weather related record has been set and the extreme nature of these conditions keeps getting worse. The California fires are frightening and it’s depressing to read each day how our leadership is handling the climate change issue. I’m glad you have found some relief from the heat and am looking forward to reading about the changes you are making. The humidity has been horrible lately and we have had very few of what I would call great summer weather days this year.

    1. The same is true in Maine. Terrible humidity. And those fires! We are seeing the results of climate change, and it is so frightening. I feel as though I must do what I can.

  7. Dear Laurie, I am ever so grateful that I stumbled on to your blog and that I had the pleasure to meet you and Cliff. You are right, climate change is real. Ask a farmer! Here at the nursery, we have our finger pretty close to the pulse of any changes in climate and how this impacts environmental conditions. It is real and it is having ( has had) an impact. I so very much applaud you and Cliff for your personal response to the damage that has been done. Rick and I now share a vehicle ( to the surprise of many) and we make very infrequent trips to town. We, like yourselves, try to minimize our impact on fossil fuel use, as well as water and all other resources. We have never lived beyond our means, but now, out of perhaps desperation, reaction, and rebellion to the wasteful trends that put our world into alert, we walk as gently and as thoughtfully as we possibly can. And guess what, it’s o.k. We do not feel denied comfort, or fun, or even luxury ( a 1 minute trip down the road is the best ice cream on the planet, fresh veggies and homegrown chicken is a meal for kings, using the outhouse instead of flushing the toilet over and over ( even though we have one) saves gallons and gallons of water). I have enough shoes that will carry me through the rest of my life, I have a community of farmers, artists, makers, that I can rely on. They are my social world as well.
    All said, I really do appreciate your mindfulness and commitment to make the changes you do in your own household to minimize the impact. You really are champion people, thank you! So, I do know this means a drive over here to Montville may be out of your necessary range and I understand why. Thank you, Laurie, for being such considerate beings on our delicate planet and having the courage and care to make change! hello to Cliff as well!!

    1. Such kind words! Really, they brought tears to my eyes and made my day. I feel exactly the same way about you, your blog, and your nursery. Knowing there are people like you and your husband gives me some hope for the future. We do what we can. Will it be enough? I don’t know, but we must give make our best effort with what resources we have.

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