This year we seem to have skipped autumn for the most part and gone directly from summer to winter. October was hot and sunny right up to the very end. Not at all the weather I grew up with (and still enjoy) as typical for the Pacific Northwest. I prefer crisp fall air and intermittent autumn showers. Leaves turning to yellow, red, and purple, gradually washed from the trees into soggy piles by the rain. Instead, we went to the pumpkin patch for jack-o-lantern fodder and mostly hid in the shade because it was an unrelenting 85 degrees.
This week it suddenly turned very, very cold after being very, very wet. So much for the transition of hoodies over summer tee-shirts, now it's time for wool sweaters and down jackets. So much for the transition from sandals to canvas sneakers, it's time for wool socks and insulated boots. It also suddenly became past time to pull the last of the root veggies and put the garden to bed for winter.
This transition to fallwinter was not the only strange feature of the 2022 growing season. The whole thing occurred amid abnormal weather. The fair planting weather started quite late in spring and was interrupted by a freak snowstorm mid-April. Then there were multiple intense heatwaves, and the summer rounded itself out by lasting way too long and finishing with a dense cover of wildfire smoke. And the weather itself wasn't the only strange thing to happen in my home garden. I also grew some unexpected crops.
Last year I planted pie pumpkins and spaghetti squash (among other things). This year I also planted pie pumpkins and spaghetti squash from the same collection of seeds. This year's spaghetti squash looked more like summer squash and the pie pumpkins were an entirely different shape and color... Same seeds; completely different results. Apparently this is a thing that happens and I was just lucky to get exactly what I intended the first year. Weird hybrid veggies is a risk you take saving your own seeds.
In other bizarre happenings, my carrots all grew three legs. The internet says carrots fork when the growing tip is damaged or impeded. The carrot beds were full of fluffy, rock-free, otherwise unimpeded soil, so physical obstacles didn't seem to be the cause. Digging further into the compendium of horticultural knowledge available online, it appears the transplanting I did to give everyone adequate growing space is probably to blame. Throw that in the basket of lessons learned for next year.
I've got plans for next next planting season, changes I will make to produce different results than this year's outcome. I wish we could do the same thing on a global scale for dealing with climate change. The COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference concludes later this week and the prevailing call for next year's conference is that actual actions actually take place. Year after year it seems like pledges and commitments are made and not much shifts out here in the real world. People continue to suffer and extreme weather events keeping getting more extreme.
Well-known climate activist Greta Thunberg skipped this year's COP because it's just a bunch of attention-seeking greenwashing. I'm not sure what the leaders of the world’s richest and most powerful nations are planning to do coming out of it. It seems more and more like they don't have a real plan. Or that their plan is to let everything go to shit and hope they can colonize whatever resources are left to grab once large swaths of the planet become uninhabitable.
It's hard to craft a plan without a clear shared vision. Kind of like what the US Democratic Party is perpetually suffering from. There is no clear democratic vision other than "we're not psychos like those other guys who have clearly gone off the deep-end." That's something, but it's not policy. And it's not good enough to propel us forward in any particular direction. All it does is buy some time. But if all those politicians are doing is buying time to then buy some more time, what good does that do? Eventually the electorate will probably get so fed-up they'll be willing to do something drastic (like vote in Donald Trump as president, for example) just to get something, anything to shift. I'd rather not wait for folks to get so desperate.
I am reminded of the phrase "stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Leadership has to stand for something. And that something can't be ambiguous or vague. It's got to be clear and concise, easy to understand and easy to explain. We're way past the point where my individual choice to reduce, reuse, and recycle can close the loop and save the planet. Governments need to make sweeping changes to policy, industry must make drastic adjustments to the way products are manufactured, shipped, and sold. And we the people have to demand both.
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Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.