Friday, January 13, 2006

April in January

Yes indeed. As much as I am loving the mild weather (+9 C forecasted for tomorrow) I am concerned. How long before global warming really rears it's ugly head and my fair city of Fredericton becomes like Venice? Every spring the Saint John river floods. I grew up about a ten minute drive down river in a little burrow on the outskirts called Lincoln. My Father, a dairy farmer, owns about 200 acres down that way, right on the river. It is beautiful. I had an idyllic childhood roaming the fields, playing in the barn, and hanging out with cousins imported every summer from Montreal. But, every year in the spring there is a flood as the snow upriver melts. Some years, we reach flood stage and then the water recedes. No big deal seeing as water rarely came over the road.Others, like last year, are what one could call doozies. My parents could only reach their house by boat. My brother has a wonderful picture of the lane to my parents house taken from a canoe. Nice adventure, but not what one would call convenient. Not to mention the clean up of the basement.

Is this the way that it is going to be? Already the Inuite in the north of Canada are having problems because in their considerably long winter, they rely on the ice as their roads. Some of the communities are quite remote and once the ice goes, or becomes unsafe, for some, it is either LONG trek's overland, or air travel. The ice is becoming unsafe earlier every year. Which means that there is more time for the permanent ice pack to melt. And that water is going somewhere. Ocean levels rise. Fredericton will be flooded. That sucks. How long will it take? And how long is it going to take big business to cleanup their act and stop contributing to the mess. Can we save our planet, or have we gone past the point of no return yet? What will my kids have when they grow up? When I look at the changes that have taken place since my father-in-law way born (he's 82), and I project into the future, to when myself, or even farther to when my kids hit that mile stone, I can only wonder what will be left by our consumptive society.

On a more immediate note, the outdoor skating rinks are all going to be pooched by the end of the day. Apparently it takes about two weeks to get a rink built up. When we hit below freezing again, the rink making guys are going to assess whether or not it is feasible to build them up again. I hope they can.

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