Scampering downwards below the ridge, my hiking partner found riparian wonder he never before knew existed. Each previous trip to the park constrained this California preserve to rolling, grassy, oakland – whereas schist canyons and rumbling gravelpans and time-pressured wildflowers populate the valleys below.
Upturned sawed spires mark trails and ways. Winter has turned redwood paws into looping flesh, gauged by the length of the trail now obscured and inaccessible. Human feet have cleared ways around the roots and between the split branches. Rather than obliterate the path, fallen trees suggest potential alternatives, albeit ungracefully. Though the established trail is not nearly so wide nor evident, the way to the next junction is nevertheless possible. Or, in the contemporary argot of conservationists, reduced network access to the outdoors is actually minimal when human ingenuity encounters natural processes.
Rainfall in the California highlands and coastal ranges far exceeded both expectations and norms in just a few short weeks this winter. Whilst praising the temporary stay of drought (some homeowners were immediately affected by mudslides and floods), few have looked towards the upcoming severity of wildfire season. Over the course of a decade, fire season has expanded, and now, can hardly be said to end – even in the face of torrential downpours.
Weather in Unpredictable Times
From drought to flooding, California’s current water identity is the involuted proof of a now-significant unpredictability: models (meteorological, biological, oceanographic) made meaningless by global warming. Continue reading “Be Careful What You Ask For, You Just Might Get It”
Reports of the anthropocene are not exaggerated: even careless observers need no transcendental clues to see the environments we create, and the nature we shape. Worryingly regular, anthropogenic signals of modernity’s self-created environment demonstrate an ever-evolving willpower. Earth’s clock progresses unabated; human attention to environmental determinism ignores our actual agency – we are constituents without control. We have built our own aporia, as development necessary for our modernity simultaneously undermines our success.