Water, Water Everywhere. And Yet, Not a Drop to Spare

Nature is Kicking Our Butt Over Water, with Too Much and Not Enough. It’s Mostly Our Fault

The Term “Our Chickens Have Come to Roost” Sounds Right

I have been thinking about this posting for a few weeks. A good assortment of articles and reflections are being written about all this just now. Many are well worth your time to read, based on what I have been seeing

For our time together today, I thought we might reflect on the extreme opposites that are pounding the world and what their occurring at the same time mean for us all. There are some important connecting points that deserve our attention.

Torrential Rains and Flooding

In places all over the world, torrential rains and the resulting flooding are wiping out entire communities. Five 1,000-year rain events have struck the U.S. in five weeks. As of this writing, people in Mississippi are being told to flee now – there is no hope in the face of coming floods from exceptionally heavy floods.

Dallas and other areas of Texas have been savaged by remarkably fast rising and fast moving waters. People had to be lifted off of what used to be freeways, now ad hoc rivers.

And it is the same all around the world. Pakistan is suffering terrible damage just now, for example. Rainfall is constantly reaching new levels in increasingly large areas and on unpredictable timelines, all over the world.

Hurricane Driven Floods

These, too, are happening more often and more violently, all over the world. We knew for years that New Orleans was a sitting duck of a target, but flood control was pathetically out of date, underfunded, and poorly administered When THE storm came, the city had no chance.

Now such things are happening with coastal areas all over the world, especially in Asia. Storms are more numerous, more severe, and coming at an ever lengthening hurricane season.

Flooding from Melted Ice

Polar ice and ice in places like Iceland and Greenland are melting at an accelerating rate, way beyond any of the early global warming estimates. The ice melting in Greenland alone is now said to be enough to raise sea levels pretty well everywhere 10-12 inches. If this continues, as now seems unavoidable, sea levels will rise several FEET. Think about what that would mean in, say, New York, San Francisco, Norfolk, and other coastal cities around the world. Billions of people will be displaced. Where will they go?

And Yet, Drought is Everywhere

Much of the American West is in a drought that has run for over two decades and shows no promise of ending anytime soon, if at all. Lakes and rivers are at record lows. Lake Mead, which provides drinking water, farming water, and hydroelectric power is down to about one foot. Just imagine that. Soon it will be unable to provide any of those things. Same at other sources of water throughout the American West.

We are not alone. Much of Europe is in record drought status, as is much of China. All of this also feeds massive fires. Much of California, Europe, and Australia have gone up in flames. Heat records are falling everywhere.

So, What About Those Connecting Points, Those Roosting Chickens?

It comes down to us, human beings. Even though, stunningly, some still deny it, the evidence is clear that the global warming we have caused is at the root of the this. We have surely had extreme weather and climate before, but not like this, not everywhere at once.

Humanity caused this and even though there are still things we can do to minimize the results and how long it runs, we cannot stop the clock. Mankind took too long to face it, now we are paying the price. We have some hope if we can accept our responsibility as a species and move on with getting things right.

Nature is a powerful, elegant construct. It seems to like balance. When we so cavalierly do whatever we want with no regard to the rest of the planet, the planet strikes back. We asked for this. Wonder if we will get a grip on reality or not. Anyone want to take a bet?

          Bill Clontz

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