Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Don's Tuesday Column

         THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   7/19/2022

Natural heaven, human hell on earth

Enjoy a literary experience of what we consider “Our Favorite Places,” where words like idyllic, awe-inspiring, elation-inducing and magnificent barely capture the beauty. Some may, “in the eye of the beholder,” consider beaches or vast natural formations, arches and canyons in the southwest to be ideal; ours are forested lakes and mountains at high elevations.

First, you’ll notice—especially after leaving brown, dried-out foliage and withering heat—the green grasses, bushes and wildflower-festooned flora in an endless, spring-like state. It’s the shifting of seasons at 6,000-foot elevations from the Cascades to the Rocky Mountain ranges, where winter stretches from early November to late May. Spring starts in June; the entire month of July, even August, displays greenery not seen locally since March.

Leaving the withering heat of Tehama County adds to the illusion of earthly heaven, the apparent eternal spring in the “high country,” gently rolling terrain where pristine lakes are fed by snow-bound hills and mountains. Still waters provide nearly perfect reflections of forested hills in the rising sun, casting a range of colors as it peeks through eastern clouds.

Inviting water loses a bit of appeal since it’s as cold as the Sacramento River; kids will play until the lips “turn blue,” as they say. Loud powerboats avoid smaller lakes, while the slow, graceful paddleboards and kayaks serenely traverse the waves.

The sense of smell is richly rewarded as the thin, crisp mountain air alternately carries pine, water and even pungent weed scents (weeds to us, natural flora there). Even into the 80s, most days you can find some shade that allows gentle breezes to seemingly caress the skin.

Closed eyes allow the senses to take it all in; the nearly endless symphony of songbirds comes from all directions. Human sounds (music, talking, squealing children, generators) take a break; winds whistle through branches; waves lap the shore, while creeks and streams gently flow.

Individual trees give way to forests which, climbing higher, become a virtual carpet of green yielding to the stone, rocks and cliffs of mountains. In Oregon’s Cascades, a favorite is the view of Diamond Peak reflected in Odell Lake near the Willamette Pass; the mountain is still covered by a blanket of snow extending well below the tree line. Amongst Idaho’s Sawtooth Range, several lakes provide such reflected mountain beauty; Stanley Lake, north of Ketchum, is a favorite. Montana’s Hebgen Lake, near West Yellowstone, has campgrounds with marvelous views of mountains, even into Yellowstone Park.

These near-heavenly natural delights can actually induce one to notice…clouds. Moreover, to rediscover one of the most creative ways of doing nothing: watching their slowly, endlessly morphing shapes.

The man-made earthly hell presented here is a counterintuitive one, given the saturation coverage of every frost, storm, heatwave or flood as “evidence” of human-caused global warming, climate change or climate crisis. The climate “alarmists,” unlike climate “realists,” echo the fabled hysterical cries of “the sky is falling” by Henny Penny after an acorn hits her head.

Fact: over 40 years of (non-manipulated) satellite and weather balloon readings of atmospheric temperatures show increases around a tenth of a degree C. per decade, in no consistent pattern. Look at the graph at https://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ and see that, compared to the 30-year average, readings ranged up and down a few tenths of a degree below average for 20 years, followed by 20 years of variation, up and down by a few tenths of a degree, above the 30-year average.

Before the weather balloon/satellite records started in 1979, we were regaled with “sky is falling” scientific predictions of a new ice age. Actually, earth’s geological history shows two periods: “glacial” and “inter-glacial,” or the repeated 100,000+/- years-long periods where sheets of ice covered much of the Northern Hemisphere, interrupted by relatively brief warm periods of 10,000-20,000 years.

Even fools won’t believe humans could create an “ice age,” let alone melt world-wide ice sheets. The world has thankfully warmed up since the last ice age ended; the Minoan, the Roman and the Medieval periods were warmer than now, without any input from fossil fuels, modern agriculture or livestock.

Global cooling is the greatest threat as crops would fail, growing seasons would shorten and masses would freeze in their homes when heating fuel supplies couldn’t keep up with declining temperatures. Vast stretches of continents would become uninhabitable in the face of advancing mile-high ice sheets. Warm or cold? You don’t have a choice because the earth’s climate cares not a whit about gases, oil, cars or livestock.

And yet, in a fanatical, illogical campaign to eliminate so-called “greenhouse gasses,” the climate regulatory, trans-national regime is determined to impose, mandate and “reset” all of modern human life. Forget the conveniences, and hitherto unknown comforts, which derive precisely from fossil fuel extraction, refinement and processing into energy and many of life’s common products.

“Hell on earth” is, to the self-righteous, deluded “czars” of climate control, for you to accept: Declining living standards and deprivation due to energy-induced inflation; brown/black-outs as “green” wind and solar massively fail to keep lights, heat and AC on;

Long-term ecological and environmental degradation due to the mining of trace minerals for lithium batteries, and non-recyclable solar panels and wind turbines; being beholden to China’s slave labor and coal-fired energy used to make panels and turbines;

Disastrously diminished food production (i.e. famines) because petroleum-offshoot fertilizers are evil, banished; livestock owners that are just expected to suck it up and wither away over nitrogen limits for their herds.

Canadian truckers, French “yellow vests,” Dutch farmers and other populist revolts over climate and health mandates will grow as the misery spreads. Vive la revolt!

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