More Evidence For My Soapbox
Look for a warm up this week. Not 74 like we had last Tuesday but warmer than average. We may see a few t’storms late Saturday with the passage of a front then we chill down for Christmas. For the last few days it has appeared that the some data supports the notion of wrap around moisture providing the source for some flurries or snow showers on Christmas Eve but that seems to be a bit of a stretch right now and anyone claiming that in a forecast is a bit on a limb at this point.
On This Date in History: For all intents and purposes, slavery ended with the official Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863. However, in an odd twist, that only freed slaves in the Confederate States. Slave states that had remained loyal to the Union, like Kentucky, still has slavery after the war. On this date in 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution that ended slavery in all the states took effect. I believe that Alabama was the 27th state to ratify the amendment, thus making for the three-fourths necessary for the amendment to be passed. That left 9 more states to ratify it, if they so chose. Mississippi finally got around to it in 1995…Kentucky was the second to last state in 1976 after it had rejected the amendment in February1865. Better late than never.
But, here’s my biggest bone to pick for the day. While on the one hand we hear news reports of how cold it is and on the other hand we hear about Global Warming….what I think is more significant news gets left to the back pages. An Associated Press story today got my attention. Since people are turning to corn for ethanol to fight global warming, corn prices have gone up thus affecting everything from corn at the grocery store to anything produced by livestock that feeds to grain. The focus of the story though concerns the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and other bodies of water. The Dead Zone is an area that encompasses about 5900 square miles of ocean in which the oxygen level is so low that fish, crabs and other wildlife cannot live. It says that this is caused by the runoff of fertilizers into the rivers that empty into the Gulf. As more corn is produced at levels not seen since World War II, more fertilizer is being used and so the Dead Zone will increase.
Fisherman have had to go farther and farther out to sea to make their catch and crabs are just hard to come by. Snow White and I this summer spent time on Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay and the crab fisherman on that island were having a difficult time making a living due to the lack of crabs. They said it was from fertilizer run off. This is more fuel to my fire. We are in fact making the ocean inhabitable…and doing so more rapidly because we are looking for fixes to a problem that may or may not be happening, that may or may not be man’s fault and may or may not be able to be fixed even if it is man’s fault. Global warming will change climates and growing patterns in various countries. Water pollution IS poisoning our water environment and potentially poisoning the water cycle. We need water to live. Our very bodies are made up of about 68% water…yet no on seems to pay attention that we are in fact potentially killing ourselves. Guess the movie producers don’t think it would make a very sexy film and no politicians haven’t figured out a way to make money trying to do something about it.
The photo above shows the area of the Dead Zone. I’m not certain but I think its a recent photo. Apparently the zone varies and, in fact, in 2003 it had shrunk…but now I think it’s bigger than ever.
We need to wake up.
Here’s a link to the article: