That used to be the title of a new blog I was planning to create to replace my old one. Having been back in MA for 3 years now, I have the unique perspective of someone who used to live here, was gone for over a decade, and now returned. And my muscle-memory for the climate of yore makes me scratch my head over the changes. The patterns start to repeat and suddenly we have the new normal of New England in the 21st century. It's a New England that features blisteringly hot and dry summers, lots of snowstorms (as long as the temperature stays below 32' which isn't a given). Lightning storms in Februrary, monsoon-like rains in the time-compressed spring. All the old assumptions about what kind of things you can grow here, and when, really have go out the window. Despite a freak snowstorm on April 1st, there really hasn't been a serious threat of frost since at least tax day if not earlier. And I have serious doubts I'll ever be able to grow any spring vegetables that bolt like spinach or broccoli. Maybe if I seed them in January and keep them in the greenhouse, but then there isn't enough day length! The window is just too brief. I'm also wondering how well the dwarf lingonberries will do over time, as they are really more of a sub-arctic species.
But most importantly, I continue to kind of silently muse to myself on how people react to all this, and the everpresent news reports of the natural disasters (and crop failures) that cycle their way around the world that the media keeps muttering under their breath (even if only in jest on the part of the right wing) may be related to climate change. Most people continue to just take in these data-points in isolation without really connecting the dots or seeing how they in some miniscule way play an interactive part in it all.
To this day I haven't worked my way completely through Bill's book, perhaps because I know too well that what he's saying is true, and the truth hurts too much to stare at me in big block letters. But then I can just go outside and witness it for myself. What is nothing but an unseasonably warm summer-like day, an excuse to go outside and take in nature, is nothing but an ominous trend to me. Ominous because I know too much about ecology to think of this as benign. From bark beetles, kudzu, malaria, and more. There's more to a warming planet than being able to put on shades and a short-sleeved shirt.