Language shapes reality, and Earth shapes language. To expand that vocabulary, here’s an environmental neologism, a code used alfresco – an Alfrescode – to give voice to a particular phenomenon.
Ours is an age defined by refuse – by refusing, that is, to deal with our refuse.
Trash accumulates in all areas of the planet, including – and especially – America’s treasured national parks. A recent, personal, non-scientific survey of Yosemite’s iconic attractions reveals a pernicious aggressor. Few outdoor enthusiasts would encourage littering, yet many cause this offense, often doing so unwittingly. Resolving the issue necessitates a much higher degree of coordination between park officials and attendees.
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.
Like a conspiratorial merchant, blue can elide detail and flatten context within the pleasure it provides. Azure sky can be lustrous and turquoise water can be inviting – almost as if adjectives were more important than verbs. So much effort is expended understanding what the sky means, may mean, and has meant, that we forget our human capacity to survive the depravity of slightly less-warm mornings and hair-adjusting breezes.
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.