“Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere,
I’ve looked at clouds that way.
“But now they only block the sun,
They rain and they snow on everyone
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.
“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all.”
— “Both Sides Now.” Written by Joni Mitchell, sung by Judy Collins, 1968
The photo I included in this column was posted Sunday evening by Wayland teacher Aaron Wissner. It shows what the sky looked like near Onekama on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Indeed, the cloud formations are very striking, ominous and almost awesome. They prompt some unpleasant premonitions with in me.
At the risk of getting a lot of pooh-poohing from the likes of Ranger Rick, Free Market Man, Army Bob and a host of other worthy adversaries, I continue to worry about signs that climate change is the real deal and we just might be partying down like those rich folks on the Titanic. Like the upper crust twits in “Cabaret.” All while the world around them is crumbling.
Some may find this laughable, but I don’t recall in my youth or in the vast number of bygone days so many magnificent and frightening formations in the sky. To be sure, there have been many ominous clouds that have come our way before and during rain and thunderstorms in the past, but I just don’t recall them being quite so spectacular in appearance.
To be sure as well, we’ve always had storms and severe weather with us over the years. But I don’t ever recall before the past several years being able to tune in to the nationally-televised Nightly News to see constant, relentless accounts of weather-related catastrophes. Be they flash fires, mud slides and droughts out west, violent thunderstorms and flooding in the Midwest, and massive snowstorms in Michigan and the Northeast and even the Southeast. How about snow in Cairo, Egypt?
It was indeed unfortunate that climate change at first was referred to as global warming, thereby allowing very shallow jokes in which ignorant people would chuckle and make snarky comments about global warming while it’s snowing outside or while record cold temps are being endured. The very heart of global warming warning signs is unusual and violent weather, which we certainly have been experiencing within the last decade all over the globe.
But Army Bob insists climate change was discussed in the time of Socrates and Ranger Rick asserts we’ve actually had cooler and wetter climate in the couple of decades.
I suppose the phony Y2K scare from the end of the previous century has kept people from taking climate change seriously. I suppose there are those who believe somebody is trying to deliberately make money, just like the Y2K techies did, but they ignore the fact fossil fuel industries are doing everything they can to create doubt in order to protect their profits.
Those who are religious sometimes like to tell skeptics, “If you don’t believe in God, you’d better be right.” Those who take climate change seriously just as easily could say, “If you don’t think global warming is real, you’d better be right.”