Jay Ford Thurston

Jay Ford Thurston

The failure of humanity on the Earth to recognize the difference between weather and climate change could have tremendous effects on our ability to survive this century. Even the President of the United States doesn’t know the difference between the two.

Weather is what is happening on a day to day basis. It is what we hear when the meteorologist gives the weather report. Usually, it is five to eight days of forecasts. And, that is the weather report. Climate is what is happening on the Earth on a year to year basis. And, the Earth climate in 2018 was the warmest the earth has ever experienced.

Sure we have had a report of the cool weather and lots of snow for February. The reason for lots of snow is due to the oceans heating up and warm air holds more moisture. So with the oceans warming we will get more snow in winter and more rain in summer. The flash flood we had, over six months ago, was the worst we have seen in this region. People had to be rescued from their homes in the dark of the night.

In 2018, the weather disaster in the United States were the fourth worst on record with a total damage bill of $91 billion dollars. And, it will probably get worse with more destructive in the future.

Recently, it was reported from New York that, Wallace Smith Broecker, who raised early alarms about climate change has passed away, on February 18, at age 87.

“Walllace Broecker, was a brilliant man,” said Princeton University professor, Michael Oppenheimer. “He wasn’t fooled by the cooling of the 1970’s. He saw clearly the unprecedented warming now playing out and made his view clear, even when few were willing to listen.”

It was recently reported in The Week, on February 22, 2019. About news from Antarctica, that the Thwaites Glacier, about 1,000 feet thick and the size of Florida, is melting fast. And if it should collapse, and break away, it will raise the oceans worldwide by 2 feet. This is one small glacier in Antarctica, If all the ice melts in the world, it will cause the oceans to rise about 250 feet. That of course will take a long time, about 300 to 500 years, and will not be a problem for our grandchildren. We don’t have to worry about that living here high above the oceans. But it is a problem for all states that border the ocean, especially Florida, where 98% of the land will be under water.

How about trout fishing, will global warming have an effect on it in the Driftless Region? It is not going to happen in your life or mine. It is more likely to happen in the glaciated region where trout streams receive 50% of their water from seepage on top of the earth. They have a lot of lakes, ponds, and marches that drain water into the trout streams. As a result they will gradually lose trout as the streams warm up. We can avoid that happening here by planting more trees along our trout streams to keep the water flowing at a cooler rate. Ninety percent of our water in trout stream comes from spring water at 48 degrees, and that will continue despite warming of the atmosphere. So your grandchildren, and mine, will have good trout fishing in this region during this century.

One of the things we should do is to avoid fishing for trout when the air temperature rises to 90 degrees or above. Remember, high temperature of water, over 70 degrees, has very little oxygen in it and that will cause trout to become exhausted and die. Trout, living in that low oxygen water, should not have to struggle to survive. So if the air temperature rises to 90 degree, or above, quit fishing and go home to grill on your shaded deck.

The best book I have read regarding man and global warming was written by Dr. James Hanson, and is titled, Storms of My Grandchildren. In the book Henson wrote, “I pointed out that action to deal effectively with climate change was practically impossible as long as out lawmakers are heavily under the undue array of special interests.”

In conclusion James Hanson says, “When you learn of a lightly publicized agreement with Canada for a pipeline to carry oil squeezed from tar sands to the United States, when you learn of approval for plants to squeeze oil from coal, when the president advocated an ineffectual cap-and-trade approach for controlling carbon emissions, when our government funnels billions of dollars to support “clean coal” while treating next-generation nuclear power almost as a pariah, you can recognized right away that our government is not taking a strategic approach to solve the climate problem.”

The last thing Jim Hanson says in the book is, “It is crucial for all of us, especially young people, to get involved. This book, I hope, has provided some assistance in understanding what policies we need to be fighting for – and why this will be the most urgent fight of our lives.”

The most urgent fight of our lives. Remember that when your neighbor buys an electric vehicle. And, when the company that provides electricity for you is putting up wind towers.

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Jay Ford Thurston is the Broadcaster’s trout fishing columnist. He can be contacted at trout@mwt.net.

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