First Frost of the Season – 9/20/20

The first day of fall is scheduled to occur tomorrow even though our official summer growing season ended yesterday morning (Sunday, September 20).  The morning low bottomed out at 30 degrees, and a very heavy frost coated everything from grass to cedar tree boughs with a silvery-white glaze.  Although I awoke well before sunrise, I could see the ice crystals on our lawn glistening like diamonds in the light from our porch.  I shivered in the frosty air as Calli dashed down the porch steps with eager delight.  She loves a cold, crisp morning, which is something she hadn’t felt since May.  The temperature stayed below freezing for at least three hours, thereby giving us our first hard freeze of the season.  As if to reinforce the point Mother Nature was making, we received another widespread frost cover this morning when the temperature fell to 31 degrees.

Frosted Grass – 9/20/20

It’s interesting to me to note that we had an extremely short growing season this year.  The final frost and hard freeze of spring didn’t occur until May 13.  We had another threatened light frost on June 1, but the morning low bottomed out at 37 degrees, just warm enough for us to avoid plant damage in our emerging garden, however we were concerned about our early corn, which appeared to be a little more yellow in subsequent days than I like to see.  Based on a May 14 starting date and a September 20 ending date, our growing season for the year totaled a scant 130 days.  According to the local weather records I have kept over the past twelve years (eight of which were spent in New Creek, which is a slightly cooler climate than our current home at Peeper Pond Farm), this was (by far) the shortest growing season we have experienced.  Ironically, the longest growing season I recorded over that same period of time occurred just last season.  The 2019 growing season lasted exactly six-and-a-half months (April-October), spanning 197 total days.  By comparison, the growing season this year was more than two months shorter.

Front Porch Spider Web – 9/15/20

I know how much the public likes to debate our changing climate and to politicize proposed solutions to it, as though our glibly high-tech egos could repair and maintain it in a way that best suits our expectations of what it should be.  To me, that thinking is utter nonsense.  I agree the climate is changing and that it has done so even more dramatically throughout geologic time.  I also agree that we humans are affecting it (although we are not the first or only dominant species to have existed on this planet that has done so).  What we so casually forget to consider is that weather on this planet is driven and ultimately dictated by a bewildering number of independent factors over such long periods of time that our feeble minds and our limited lifetime experiences can’t fathom it all.  That’s one reason why all the computer models we have contrived to model our weather and climate can’t do so accurately or reliably (as I have noted in prior posts). 

Even the premise that we should dictate what the climate should be is an arrogant and vain position.  Who are we, with our relatively brief experience on this planet, to dictate what climactic conditions should be maintained in the future?  Most of the people who want average annual temperatures lowered would find the winters I experienced as a child to be unbearably cold.  After all, my schools were never closed due to “cold weather” as they frequently do today when the average winter climate is much warmer.  What’s more, even my parents noted how much warmer the winters were when they were young.  In the late 1800’s, people left the area where I grew up in droves because the weather there was even colder still, resulting in repeated crop failures that caused many to starve in the harsh conditions. 

Personally speaking, I refuse to debate whether or not so-called “climate change” is real.  In my mind, that is a stupid and useless debate.  However, I will eagerly debate the relative accuracy (over geologic time), reliability, and comprehensiveness of the assumptions used by politically motivated people to model climate change, and I will even more eagerly debate the technical merits of their purported solutions. You can simply refer to my 2011 book, Lifestyle Lost, for a detailed account of the grossly exaggerated merits of Industrial Wind Energy as a way to reduce carbon emissions produced by coal-fired power plants.  I find these issues to be the core of the political debate.  I also find global-warming enthusiasts to be very resistant to debating those issues.  Either they don’t understand them or they don’t wish to answer the hard, probing questions I ask about them.  That frequent resistance, in and of itself, is very revealing to me and should be a cause for concern for others who eagerly engage in those debates.

I won’t belabor this post to go into all the details I have researched on these issues.  This post would end up being as long as one of my recent books if I did.  Those who have the courage to discuss them with me can give me a call.  What I will say to conclude this post—as I have noted in prior posts and my books that have scratched the surface of these issues—is that the natural world will ultimately determine and control our fate.  It is so mind-numbingly complex that we will never fully understand its workings and we will never be able to control it.  After all, the wild climactic swing that occurred during the dust-bowl years (which resulted in many historic record high temperatures that remain on the books today) recovered naturally and without any of the wild technological climate-change solutions being advanced today.  To me, that’s a reassuring thought.  If our politics are so hopelessly divided that we can’t effectively resolve any critical issues, I certainly don’t want them to decide our fate.  I’ll take my chances with nature, thank you.