Wednesday, April 22, 2009

suffering the effects

You can call it global warming. You can call it climate change. I don't really care what you call but don't tell me it isn't happening.

We live on an island about a mile from the sea. Our rainy season is supposed to be tapering off. In fact it had for about 2 weeks. Then she came back. Last evening we had another 2 feet of water in our street. See the problem is the rains came during high tide. And apparently the geologic survey would tell you we are in a season of cyclical high tide, when the tide (because of some lunar pattern) comes in higher than normal. But the problem that scientist agree on is that the ocean level is rising. With the increasing in the ocean level, scientists agree that regardless of a cyclical season of high tide, coastal cities are going to face increasing flooding problems. So what we should do is make sure we have a cleared canal system. Problem here is most definitely man made. Our canal are FULL of trash. FULL! Water doesn't actually flow through the canal because it has become so polluted.

I spent the night at a friend's house. She had 3 inches of water in her house from the rains. Her husband was out of town so I kept her company while waiting for the water to recede so we could start squeeging. Its too discouraging to face on your own. There aren't a lot of solutions to the problem of house flooding in our neighborhood. The neighborhood was built on reclaimed land and by everyone's agreement is way too low (we suspect we are technically below sea level after the years of settling). The picture above is the canal 3 blocks from our house. The good news for me is that 1) my house has been raised and 2) if I don't like the problem I can afford to move. And this is where the arguement switches from "Liberal Mother Earth Loving" to think of humanity. I can afford to move but I'm in the minority. There are 4 million people in my city and I'm guessing 2 million would find my house to be a good choice. But if they take my house, they'll be exposed to disease and chronic illness from polluted water and mosquitos, things I can afford to remedy by buying drinking water and screening my house.
Where the light poles are, that was open sea a year ago. Our city is STILL trying to reclaim land.

This is our compost pile. Its where all of the food scraps, yard waste and anything organic goes. Presently its full of banana tree. But under that you'll find what is becoming a good rich black dirt with all the goodness from coffee grounds, potato peels and egg shells. Later on in a few weeks we'll give a flip/ stir. And, maybe, if we're lucky, we'll find a free will plant. The boys rescued a pepper plant the other day that came from the scraps of a bell pepper. All cardboard, cans, and plastic bags get recycled which helps to provide a little extra income to the collector. We're trying to reduce what goes to "the dump", which we've come to learn is really the canal.
So I don't have a great solution to the problems I'm talking about. I don't know that there is one. But I can do my little compost pile to create good dirt that grows things. I take a second and break down and separate my recycleables. My guess is you can too.
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