A Piece of My Mind: Weather or Not
Photo from CalFire CZU
For three years in California we have bewailed the drought, the shrinking reservoirs, the lowering aquifers, and debated whether or not to build additional dams and pipelines despite the environmental cost. High winds threatened to snap power lines, spark fires, and drive them at breakneck speed across our forests. My gray water from dishes was poured onto any handy plant that would be grateful, my faucets were not allowed to run, I limited my dishwasher to once-a-day, and recklessly combined colors and whites in my laundry to save an extra load. Something called the Peculiarly Persistent Pressure Ridge was pushing rainfall northward, blocking rainfall during what were normally the soggy months.
Now the pattern has changed, at least for a while. The Peculiarly Persistent Pressure Ridge has melted away, and now we have Atomospheric Rivers from Alaska (COLD!) or Hawaii (WET!) aiming straight at the midriff of California. Instead of drought, we have record snow pack and rapidly filling reservoirs. Instead of wildfires, we have floods and landslides. Instead of talking of building more dams and pipelines, we are rushing resources to repair and maintain the deteriorating system of levys which protects our farmland. High winds are still a threat, as toppled trees land on power lines and block roadways.
So instead of moaning about the drought, we exchange news of which house was crushed by trees, which roads are blocked, which neighborhood is without power and for how long.
Still, it’s better than arguing about what “woke” means, or whether racism is ingrained in our society, or if a tax cut for the wealthy will ever trickle down to the middle class, or whether the Ukraine will be our next Viet Nam, or the science behind vaccinations. At least we haven’t politicized the weather. Yet.
My debut novel, Fox Spirit, is appearing episode by episode on my sister blog, ajmccready.wordpress.com. New episodes arrive every Monday and Thursday. They’re short, so you’re not too late to check them out, and sign up for future happenings