Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Wild Weekend


As I'm sure everyone is aware by now, it was quite a wild weekend in the Washington, DC, area as we got hit with something called a derecho, which despite being a bit of a weather geek I will nevertheless admit was a term I had never heard of prior to now. Supposedly, "derecho" means a wide band of powerful thunderstorms that can travel over long distances. But it could just as easily mean, "nasty, global warming fueled weather phenomenon," as that is what it amounted to.

All that said, my wife and I got pretty lucky. About a month ago, we reserved a room at a bed & breakfast over on Maryland's eastern shore for this weekend and were safely on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge about twelve hours before Mr. Derecho took direct aim at the nation's capital. The storm's power was still pretty astonishing where we were, but fortunately it failed to knock out the electricity there. Incredibly, we returned home this morning about one hour after the juice got turned back on in our neighborhood.

The DC area as a whole, however, is still pretty shaken up. There are dozens of trees down all around my neighborhood, including one that clobbered my next door neighbor's back fence and deck. As of this evening, 60% of the residents and businesses in Montgomery County, Maryland, are still without power and it was announced that some may not get it back until next weekend.

Throughout it all, I was wondering what the smarmy family of Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma was doing, they who got such a kick out of building an igloo to mock Al Gore during the February 2010 blizzards. Al Gore may be a fraud, a hypocrite and an opportunist, but even a broken clock is right twice a day provided that the hour and minute hands haven't fallen off its face. I sincerely hope that Senator Inhofe's family were among those denizens of the nation's capital who had the unfortunate experience of having tree limbs crash down onto their cars or houses on Friday night.

Look, I'm no scientist, and I would never claim to have any special knowledge of matters climatological, but I would really like to know how anyone who is not on the payroll of the Koch brothers and who does not have their head planted firmly up their ass can look at the recent events in Colorado, Florida and now here in jolly old DC and NOT recognize that something very extreme and potentially very dangerous is happening with the weather. Just last August in the DC area, we had a 1,000 year flood from a series of thunderstorms that decided to camp out over the area and pour down rain for hours on end, and now less than a year later we've been struck by the equivalent of inland hurricane.

What the fuck does it take, a derecho-generated giant hailstone to land on the deniers' fucking heads? It's bad enough that the effects of peak oil and resource depletion are already causing stress to the systems we depend out to sustain our modern way of living, and events like this weekend serve as just a little preview of the chaos the planet likely has in store for us going forward even as we gradually lose our ability to deal with them.


Bonus: From my You Tube channel, a special song uploaded just for the derecho

7 comments:

  1. "Derecho".....that would be a great (and apt) name for a new line of 1-ton, quad-cab, dually, 10 cyl, gas guzzling P/U trucks! Dodge Derecho, anyone?

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  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVEPvXBEOSE&feature=player_embedded

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  3. I just learned a new weather term, myself: "seiche." My daughter reported from Isle Royale National Park in northern Lake Superior (where she is a ranger), that they experienced a seiche there. Hours-long extremely high winds passing over the lake actually tipped the water, as if in a bowl, so that in the harbors around the island the levels suddenly rose SEVERAL FEET IN JUST A FEW MINUTES.

    Love Richard Shindell.

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  4. no need to post this Bill Hicks - but I thought of Spoiled Rotten Nation when I saw it. VICIOUS!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWlAgPJdHdA&feature=player_embedded

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