Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recurring dreams of impending climate change

This morning I had a dream that matched, detail-by-detail, a dream that I had almost exactly twenty-five years ago.  In both dreams, I am digging through vinyl records in a store in a city; I'm in either a record store or an antique store.  Suddenly, the sky darkens as a massive storm moves in.  I hear the warning, "Everyone out!"  In this morning's dream, I crouch underneath the concrete supports of an overpass, believing that this would protect me.  A vicious storm sweeps by.

I've had this same dream, with minute variations, most of my life.  From my perspective now, during the increasingly unsettled summer of 2011, I now know that these dreams are beginning to come "true," though in what manner, is still obscure.  Are these dreams a foreshadowing of my own personal event horizon, my last moments on earth?  Or are they a more general warning of climate change that is already beginning to happen?

As I read through Hazel Courteney's "Divine Intervention," it's becoming apparent to me that the speaker (self-identified as Diana, Princess of Wales) has crafted her message as a subtle warning of sudden and catastrophic climate change.  Like many such writings, the warning is veiled, even deliberately obscured, for some reason.  But the evidence hidden within the book is apparent to me, since I have been bombarded with these dream warnings most of my life.
What I consider especially remarkable about the dangers incumbent with climate change has been how quickly our weather is changing, and how little is being said about it.  Within the space of the past five years or so, my area of the country has been hit by several destructive tornado seasons, as well as an unprecedented flood that laid waste to much of downtown Nashville and other cities along the Cumberland.  And each subsequent season brings weather more extreme than the preceding.

Climatologists make the argument that we do not have enough data to determine if these extreme weather events are simply part of a short-term trend not associated with global climate change, or the consequence of climate change.  Such an argument can be scientifically valid--after all, how many years of data does one need in order to say that one has "enough"?  But it is disingenuous, and most of us, intuitively, understand this, as each spring brings increasingly violent weather to larger swaths of the human population.

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