Saturday, October 15, 2016
In 1978, I was living in a travel trailer parked under the shade of a mesquite tree in the 'monte' north of La Joya, Texas. I was far from any utilities, so I used propane for cooking and kerosene for lighting. I used empty milk jugs to haul water from town each day 15 miles away where I taught school. When I "showered", I stood on the paving stones that served as a porch - and grabbing a shovel and a roll of toilet paper was in lieu of an outhouse. In the winter, it could be almost brutal living in my out in the open 'tin can'. And the summers could be even worse.
It was on one fine Fall day that I was reading an article about how native Alaskan Inuits were having to travel further and further north in order to gather the berries that they favored. And grave stones of the earliest white settlers in that had been in the ground for over a century in Alaska were now tipping over / and the depth of the permafrost was decreasing. It was obvious that their climate was warming.
In my circumstance, I could see that if the same occurred where I was at, then even the tough vegetation all around me would become more stunted and sparse like it was further inland around Laredo. At my location, I could tell that I received less rain than the areas to the east of me. As the climate warmed, my eastern south Texan friends would then be looking like me.
During the next decade, other stories of earlier Springs and disappearing mountain glaciers came forth. Gardeners and forestry experts provided bountiful anecdotal information that showed we are in the midst of a warming global climate. Some people like to think that it has nothing at all to do with greenhouse gases; but, I know better. And so do you.