Everything’s connected, even if we don’t see it.
I had an insight about eight or nine years ago that it’s all about the ice cap. If the ice cap goes, then the jet stream gets wonky and messes with the seasonal highs and lows upon which agriculture depends. That insight, plus the fear-inspired over-reaction that gave us the War on Terror, plus the influence of the Christian right in government, added up to my novel A Change in the Weather.
This article in Oceanography by Drs. Charles Greene, Jennifer Francis, and Bruce Monger is further confirmation of that intuition. The article explains how Hurricane Sandy’s character and path were influenced by Arctic ice loss. That loss, of course, is caused by heat trapped by the CO2 and methane we’re liberating from the earth’s crust and injecting into the sky, whose effect is amplified around the North Pole. For a broader discussion of how the Arctic affects world weather, check out Dr. Francis’s Yale Environment 360 article from March 2012.
The Oceanography article made me think of that old spiritual song, Dem Bones. Everything is connected, the song implies, and everything has a cycle. It’s a strange tune. Is it joyful? Ominous? Funny? Creepy? All of the above? It’s certainly one thing: deceptively simple. The key shifts in ascending and then descending half-steps are devilishly difficult to sing accurately.
The repetition in Dem Bones parallels the tone of the Bible and Ecclesiastes’ suggestion that there’s a natural time for things. The bones go together, the bones come apart.
Was anthropogenic climate change inevitable? Is it the natural end-phase of our technological evolution? Did innate human curiosity and ambition preordain our situation? And will our inability to see the connection between our way of life and the imminent disappearance of the ice cap prevent us from stopping it?
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones, now hear the word of the Lord…
Illustration of jet stream and Sandy used with permission of Dr. Francis.