In the current climate emergency, fish are the marker. If we can keep them alive and well, we have hope.
Yesterday the wind came up in the afternoon. It was in the low- to mid-nineties at the time, when the hot, dry wind began. But this is June, and it’s historically one of our three wettest months. So far, less than one twentieth of average precipitation has happened, and we are three quarters of the way through the month. And the hot, dry wind desiccated what moisture is left. It’s now gone. Only the dry biomass is left, waiting for one incendiary moment.
Our property is managed for research into how to steward for wildlife and fish and agriculture. We avoid chemicals. We target sustainable action. But today’s conditions overwhelm our efforts. We are extremely vulnerable to drought, and now, fire. And this is despite perennialization of the property. Our neighbors, who have largely stayed conventional with their practices, as they attempt to grow annual crops, are even more vulnerable.
We have answers. We have talked through strategies that can buy us time to respond. But by “we”, I’m only describing a fraction, not a majority, of locals. The others are somewhere else. They are oblivious to change, and they are tomorrow’s victims.
While it’s true they may be uncomfortable with ongoing environmental conditions, the question of “Why?” doesn’t come up in their day-to-day interactions. It’s prevented by their political bias. It’s not a topic they are allowed to discuss, without violating their political comfort zones.
Heat transitions into water, and when combined with nutrients and ubiquitous carbon, the result is Harmful Algae Bloom. This is where we are now, and unless action occurs, this is what we face for the indefinite future. The recipient water will slip into anoxic status, and fish will die. The water will become turbid. It will stink and generate methane instead of carbon dioxide. This is our future, based on the current inertia.
How do you interrupt this pattern? How do you go forward?
The one takeaway I can offer is this…your fish are the canary in the coal mine. Keep them alive and well, and there is hope.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.