We’ve been having really weird weather. I live in the high desert. It’s been colder then usual this year and winder too. And May, whoa… stranger than I ever remember. Started off down right frigid. Warmed up to darn cold. Got sweltering hot for a day or two, then back down… brrrrr, cold. I’m wondering, “Do I leave the windows open or close them? Cover the plants? Water them? What? Do I wear a sweater, jeans and jacket? Or tank top and shorts?” My body isn’t adjusting. My plants are in shock. It’s crazy confused! Seems nothing is normal anymore. The other day heard someone say, “Normal? What’s that?”
Got me wondering, “Know what I feel, but what’s real? What’s actual?” So I looked online at weather.com. The experts say the averages for May are high 87F and low 47F. Average means, normal, right? The actual temperatures for the first 2 days in May, 54F high and 23F low. Wow that’s sure not normal. The 3rd through the 9th it warmed up a wee bit to highs in the mid-60s, lows 22F to 35F with lots of wind. That fits with what I felt… frigid. I know, I know it isn’t that cold. But hey, when you’re acclimatized to Arizona hot, that feels like the Arctic North. And it’s May, it’s supposed to be hot already!
May 10th and 11th warmed up to 71F; the 12th was 65F with lots of wind. The 13th was only 48F and it rained. Feels like a weather see saw… up, down, up, down. 14th thru 16th were in the low to mid 60s again with more wind. The 17th was 74F, then it warmed up closer to normal in the low to mid 80s the 18th thru the 20th. The 19th the thermometer on my porch read 100F. I remember ’cause the past couple of days I’d been sitting on the porch enjoying a Sangria and watching the golfers drive by and that day was so hot I stayed inside. I was surprised it was only 84F. The 21st cooled down again to 65F. Geez!
On the 22 we drove to Flagstaff. As we rounded the top of the hill it began snowing lightly. I’m pleasantly surprised and shocked. Snow in late May? In Arizona? My roommate calls a friend and reports this anomaly to her voice mail. It snowed lightly all day. We wore our heaviest jackets to keep warm. Glad I keep mine in the car, didn’t start out wearing one. We started home after dark. I was driving. It’s now snowing so hard I can’t see the road. We pass under a flashing yellow sign that says, “Warning, winter driving conditions.” I think to myself, “Really! I never would have noticed. I’m in weather hell, I know it.”
A bit befuddled, I say to my roommate, “What’s going on?” She replies, ‘I’d guess it’s the result of greenhouse gas emissions. You know… global warming.’ I think to myself, “Yea, the latest buzz word” and say, ‘Seems more like global cooling to me.’ She says, “Temperatures have generally been going up for a while now, and worldwide weather weirdness like this have been occurring more frequently.” “Hunh!” I grunt.
Got me wondering some more. So I looked online for weather weirdness around the globe. I was in awe of what I found. Seems we’ve got a bad case of global warming. But the experts don’t all agree. Do I believe the experts or my own eyes? I’m in a quandary.
I tell my roommate, “We’ve got global warming! It’s huge! I can’t change it!” She says, “Yes you can… the solution begins at home. Change your carbon footprint.” I reply, “Carbon foot print? Last time I looked there was no carbon on my feet.” My roommate laughs and says, “No silly.” I say, “Need to wash my feet? What?” She says, “No just change your impact. Lessen your output. You know like walk, bike or drive a hybrid. Buy products that are energy efficient. Look into what you can do then do it. You make a difference. It all starts with you.”
EPIPANY: I make a difference. Less output means a cleaner world.
We dance around the house singing (to the song Revolution by the Beatles)…
‘We say we want to change pollution!
Well you know.
We all want to change the world.
We’ll tell you that there is a solution.
Well, you know.
We all want to change the world.
But when you talk about obstruction.
Don’t you know that you can count me out.
Don’t you know it starts with me…. alright. alright, alright, alright.’
Come on, everybody sing….
A few links:
NOAA Weather Hazards/Climate Extremes May 2008
An Inconvenient Truth
~Bonnee Klein Gilligan