The Uninhabitable Earth: David Wallace-Wells
|Ice Floes Under Midnight Sun|
William Bradford 1869
How easily I can recall that July
when we revelled in yellow warmth –
no fire in the grate, perhaps an extra blanket
thrown across a knee and soon discarded.
That was the winter the Antarctic calved
the biggest iceberg ever – no matter
it was tilted away from the sun – we thought
how cool to have seen that in our lifetimes.
Oh, of course the pundits howled
and bandied phrases like planetary clock –
blamed us for mass extinction despite
our best efforts to save the rhino.
We were unimpressed by the hype –
even presidents thought it a joke
as they exchanged lucrative handshakes
with the oil barons and admired new pipelines.
Yes, those were the days, halcyon
I’d call them now that time has unwound –
we castaways can only curse this perfect summer
desperate for any Ararat rising from the boiling sea.
On the occasion of the birth of A68 (Giant Iceberg Splits from Antarctic BBC.com)
This weekend's prompt in the Garden has us Imagining a Changing Earth. Brendan has laid down the gauntlet: "I suspect the only way we can visualize something like this is through the collective of individual attempts..." And this, then, is my attempt to imagine what should be impossible given all the forewarning.
The last time it snowed in my home town in July was 22 years ago (bearing in mind my southern hemisphere perspective where all our cold fronts arise in the Antarctic). Now the temperature seldom drops below 22C (72F). While this makes for an endless number of pleasant days, it does not rain in this season, so the vegetation is parched and conditions perfect for uncontrollable wildfires (Hell and High Water as Knysna Battles Fires HeraldLive.com). I see how the warmer weather is affecting the migration patterns of birds and the cycles of deciduous trees which produce new leaves long before Spring.