September 06, 2023

Despite the hot humid days, the early morning light is still wonderous.


We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.

-Barack Obama


Alas, the cooler temperatures didn’t last.  Waldo and I have to wake up between 5:30 and 6 AM because of the heat.  Neither one of us is a morning person and sometimes it takes effort to drag ourselves out of bed.  This morning, Waldo got up when I did, then went back to bed as I got dressed to leave.  I had to grab him by the collar and gently encourage him to get out of his crate.  But, once out, he was ready to go and gave me no reason to worry that he shouldn’t go.

Today, we hit the trail at 6:30 and the temp is 63℉.  There’s a gentle breeze and it’s quite pleasant as we pass the Covid Garden.  Waldo is out front, leading the way, sniffing along down the trail with a jaunty trot, wide awake and ready to get on with it.  I, too, am fully awake and the blood in my veins has, at least temporarily, pumped away my immediate need for sleep.  Though it’s nice out now, it will warm up fast and the temp will hover around 75℉ (Waldo’s maximum) when we finish at 9.  I’ll be sweating profusely and Waldo panting with tongue fully extended and dripping.  Later on in the day, the peak temp will be around 83℉ with humidity around 65%.  So far, we’ve been able to gage things so Waldo hasn’t felt the need to lie down in the shade and refuse to continue.

It has been one hot, muggy summer.  There is one place, just south of the Florida peninsula, in Manatee Bay, where the water temperature was recorded to be over 100℉!  Damn boiled fish on the hoof!  That can’t be good for the marine life there.  It’s not as bad as it may sound, though, because the bay is only five feet deep and its exposure to open ocean currents is limited by encircling land, but still…  I read one report that the month of July was the hottest month on record – something we seem to hear a lot these days.  But not only that, it was the hottest month in over 150,000 years (they can determine how hot it’s been in the past by looking at trapped gases in ice cores garnered from polar ice, among other ways).  That’s approximately as long as there’s been modern humans walking on this Earth!  Modern man may never have experienced a month as hot as this July!  The temperature that environmentalists refer to in these reports has been averaged over very many recording stations positioned over the entire planet and from observations in planes and orbiting satellites.  Its accuracy cannot be rationally questioned.

All that is not just some number on some scientists measuring instrument.  There are real world consequences, like the hundreds of wildfires burning in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Southern Europe, Maui, Texas and elsewhere (there are still some in California, but nearly as many as last year!).  It’s predicted that the number of extreme fires will increase by 14% by 2030, 30% by 2050 and a whopping 50% by 2099.  This year, in the Northeast, we’ve had quite a bit of rain, with a lot of flooding.  But last year, we were somewhat dry.  Overall, wild swings of weather patterns will increase in severity.  The overall number of storms is expected to remain more or less constant, but the storms there are will be more dangerous.   For example, it’s estimated that there is a 25-30% worldwide increase in the number of category 4-5 cyclones per increase of 1℃.

Waldo and I probably won’t live long enough to see the worst of what Mother Nature has in store for us.  I saw one report that we may be closer to a tipping point of certain ocean currents that ameliorate the climate around seacoasts.  Some currents might completely stop in the next few years, changing the weather patterns dramatically in Europe and North America.  At any rate, dramatic changes are close upon us and we can expect to see worse in the coming years.

I’m surprised at how fast these changes are occurring and how much they are effecting me directly.  But Waldo and I can still go out and walk in the woods (except on those days where the air quality, due to wildfires, is so bad, we can’t) and we can still avoid the worst of the heat by walking early in the day.  We haven’t been affected that much, but, sadly, our progeny will.  What hath man wrought?

This morning, though, it is beautiful and mild.

And both Waldo and I appreciate the fact we can enjoy it.


Waldo and I have certainly learned to be thankful for the shade.

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