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Type II Climate Change

October 17, 2011 - A report has just been issued which states that animals and insects will adapt to climate change by becoming smaller. I'm sure this has something to do with the ratio of volume to surface area, not that I'm smart enought to explain exactly how they affect one another. What immediately comes to my mind is the fact that humans have been trending in the opposite direction; we've been getting taller as nutrition has improved since World War II, and recently, we've been getting substantially heavier, as well. It's my guess that those trends are about to be thrown into full reverse; our food-growing capacity has been affected negatively on a worldwide basis by climate disruption. Because of the instability of our climate systems, finding ways to compensate will be very difficult. We all need to remember to be VERY grateful this Thanksgiving.

Hold onto your seats, everybody: news doesn't get much worse than this. According to the October 5 Radio Ecoshock broadcast, climatologists have identified Type II Climate Change. Type I was what occurred at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution up through the last thirty to forty years or so. Since then, the rate of change has been increasing. (The rate of change is now dramatic enough, I notice, that formerly unaware people are beginning to comment.) This kind of climate change has been categorized as Type II. Alex Smith's guests on the program alluded to, Dianne Dumonowski and Alder Fuller Stone, render a stunningly unwelcome verdict: it's too late to slow the rate of change, even if we got religion right this minute and changed everything that needs changing. You can find the program at http://www.ecoshock.info/2011/10/sudden-abrupt-change.html .In his blog, Smith writes about a paper by Dr. Michael MacCracken called Sudden and Disruptive Climate Change, which is actually a bit more hopeful, judging by the writeup on the book's website. The title is rather alarming, however.

Speaking of changes we can all see and hear, I can't help hearing the mockingbirds in our neighborhood singing their heads off this fall. What's that about? It's been a lovely, slowly progressing fall this year - lots of trees have yet to change color - and you'd swear the mockingbirds were getting ready to build nests! They fly up to the highest point they can find (frequently someone's chimney), and proceed to imitate every bird song they know. Many times, as only mockingbirds will do. The concerts are delightful, just not on schedule!

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