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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Growing in Climate Change

It's been a hot most of August/beginning of September here in SW Ohio. Dry too, we have not had much rain in about 5 weeks now. We got a down pour that gave us .5 inches August 24th which was the first rain we had had in 2 weeks up to that time and we have none since.

This is making it very hard to establish fall/winter crops. Eugene has resorted to hand watering the seeds because the drip irrigation does not put out enough water to get seeds to germinate. Drip irrigation is okay once the seed are transformed into become tiny plants with a root system But until than they need more water and hand watering with watering cans is the best way to do this. No it is the second best way, rain is the best.

The hot dry weather makes me think of climate change. Is this a symptom of climate change? Or is this simply the age old pattern of dry hot periods at the end of summer? Right now I am thinking it is simply the age old pattern, but if this dryness persists for another 3 to 4 weeks, into October I will be changing my mind as October should be coolish with some precipitation. Actually September should be coolish with some precipitation, especially the last half of the month. Time will tell. For now, though we are dry, bone dry. Anything that does not have a deep root system is stressing. the trees seem okay for now and our hops, which have long tap roots, don't seem to mind the lack of moisture all that much. But our peppers are bummed out without irrigation supplying water to them daily (and they do not get water daily because there are many other parts of the market garden than need water and we can only run so much per 24 hour period).

An email friend who is politically conservative and does not believe in man made climate change wrote me yesterday that because of the lack of sunspots for the past few months (actually for the past 11+ months, if one is visiting NASA's Space site) the earth should be plunged into a mini ice age. he believes since we are dependant on agriculture this would be far worse than global warming. He is wrong. Global warming of just 2c would mean temps would rise to over 100˚F around here in the summer and that would be far too hot for most crops to thrive. Warming would also mean huge swings in the flood/drought cycle. we would either be flooding or in drought which makes planting very very hard to do-just ask the growers in the US Plain states that have had this exact scenario this year. Floods that wiped out early crops and now they have heat and no rain for months making it difficult to grow any thing. At least with cool one can grow under cover in greenhouses, high tunnels and hoop houses.

This morning I was reading an article about climate change and how we have just 100 months to change our ways globally and stop spewing carbon, methane, etc into the atmosphere before we reach the tipping point of no return. I think we have already reached the tipping point but even if we have not I do not see a global political movement happening to stop it. Our governments all seem to be influence heavily by corporate leaders who simply do not seem to care about the planet if there is money to be made. They can see no further than their greed and it is because of their greed they will take us all to Hell in a hand basket.

So we keep doing what we do. In the grand scheme of things what we do to stave off man made climate change is minuscule but as Margaret Meade once said "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

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