nature

The Beauty of Climate Change

I think most folks really haven’t grasped the utter splendor and beauty of climate change. Especially the folks in our government. Recently, David Smith, the superintendent for Joshua Tree National Park, got chewed out by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, just for bringing up the subject.

On November 8th, Joshua Tree National Park posted some tweets that left officials in the Trump administration feeling alarmed and disturbed. Tweets such as the following:

An overwhelming consensus—over 97%–of climate scientists—agree that human activity is the driving force behind today’s rate of global temperature increase.

and

Current models predict the suitable habitat for Joshua trees may be reduced by 90% in the future with a 3°C (5.4°F) increase in average temperature over the next 100 years.

Secretary Zinke himself was so upset about these tweets that he had the reprobate Smith flown all the way to Washington, DC so he could vent to him in person. When Mr. Smith went to Washington, he made it clear to him, and all other national park superintendents, that the Trump administration doesn’t want national parks to put out official communications on climate change.

You can read more on this story by clicking this link: Trump’s Tantrum Over Terrible Tweets.

Anyway, I believe everyone is missing the point. Climate change is nothing we should feel ashamed of. Climate change is beautiful!

Drought and warmer temperatures are killing off pinyon pines in the Southwest. But you can’t help admire how majestic this pine skeleton appears, near the Pine City trail in Joshua Tree National Park, with its naked branches pointing upward, as if imploring something from the heavens.

I live near Joshua Tree National Park, and hike there frequently. I have snapped many photos of our park, and some of these pics graphically demonstrate the beautiful effects climate change has had on our environment.

Another expired pinyon, in the Pine City area of Joshua Tree National Park, lifts its lacy tendrils upward, as if it were shouting, “Why?! Why?!” How inspiring.

Please take a moment to drink in the awesome scenes. Reflect on the beauty of nature, and how we humans have improved the pulchritude of our parks with the artistic touch of carbon emissions.

This fallen pinyon, on the West Side Loop Trail, advertises the beauty of its bark, as it dehydrates, and strips of its integument selectively peel away. The brindle-striped pattern that remains is stunning.

This is the tallest pinyon pine in Joshua Tree National Park, and in fact, one of the tallest in the United States. Its towering form invites the question, “How did it achieve such lofty heights?” And, “What made it stop growing?” You can find this majestic spectacle on the eponymous Big Pine Trail–a trail established for nature lovers at a time when this tree was just another ugly example of living biology.

This view atop Ryan mountain shows off the mysterious beauty of carbon haze, as it enshrouds rocky inselbergs in the distance.

Barker Dam was built by cowboys in the early 1900s. Bill Keys, a historic pioneer of this park, extended its height after the cowboys left, so that Bighorn Sheep could use it year-round for water. But bah-h-h humbug to those sheep. Drink in the beauty of the sinuous lines and water-level marks left by the extended droughts of global warming. What a work of art!

Instead of trying to hide from climate change, and shirking our responsibility for causing it, let’s put it on display with all its magnificence and beauty, point to it, and proudly proclaim, “Here is what we humans have accomplished!”

Brush fires have devastated large swathes of Joshua Tree National Park, leaving denuded areas such as this. Twenty years ago a forest of Joshua trees thrived in this spot. But a massive blaze left the desert floor studded with silvery skeletons of Yucca Brevifolia, except this lone survivor. Magnifico, eh! To capture this artistic impression of loneliness I had to commence hiking on the Quail Springs trail before sunrise, to be there in time for the long shadows of short shrubs. But it was worth it, to see the long shadows cast by puny creatures. Thank you global warming, and all the wildfires you have so generously bestowed upon us!

Categories: nature

9 replies »

  1. You have a gift for satire, Tippy. I love the pseudo-positive spin you put on these oh-so-sad photographs. Enjoy what’s left of your park, go hug a Joshua tree for me… it looks like impeachment could be a long time coming, and who knows if the next Prez will embrace sound science or be another ignoramus-maverick? Great post. 🙂

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    • This was satire?! (heh-heh). Yeah I guess some folks like what we’re doing to the environment. Perhaps it takes a little walking about in nature to appreciate what we still have left.

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      • Today is a snowy day and I had to cancel my hiking plans because of the driving conditions.
        Normally I would complain, but after reading your post, I’m going to be happy about it. This is what winter is supposed to be like in our parts 🙂

        Liked by 1 person