Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dry, hot daze

Native plants start to bloom.

Native prairie plants in my front yard are delivering on their bonus in these hot and dry conditions. They are flourishing and now starting to bloom.  We finally received some rain, for which I am glad.  The storms weren't severe around here, but some places lost power. These are probably the early warnings of global climate change.  I find it odd that people just don't believe humans could have such a big impact on our environment. Considering what we've done to our environment historically just on this continent alone--the decimation of the buffalo, the extinction of the passenger pigeon, primeval forests from the east coast to the border of Illinois mowed down all in a few hundred years. 

Our present day consumption of natural resources has outpaced any of these historical ones as we sprawl into ever-expanding suburbs eating up land and habitat for homes.  Besides homes, furniture, remodeling, air-conditioning and cars, we also need the big farms to feed us cheaply--because we like our food plentiful and cheap.  The science of climate change is sound, but I think our own inherent human arrogance makes us blind to the reality.  We are a "let the good times roll" kind of species who will continue to party and deny what evolution has made us smart enough to comprehend. There are billions of us, and our planet is a closed system. The catering bill for the party will be paid for by our grandchildren.

I do a small part in mitigating the impact of my suburban lifestyle, though I admit it is only a drop in a leaky bucket. Environmental scientists, including the Cornell Ornithological Lab suggest the inclusion of native plants in our yards to provide little oasis for native species to thrive. So I will try, but in all my attempts at sustainable living my carbon foot print is still large as I enjoy my car, my air-conditioning, and a nice house filled with plenty of stuff.

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