Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What's an Average Guy To Do?

This little succulent ground cover withstands dry 
and baked clay soil with no problems.
I fall somewhere between "the world's environment is in chaos and we're all gonna die today" and "everything is beautiful in it's own way - fa la la la la."

From what I read and observe, it does appear some of our past weather may not be what we should expect in years to come.  Whether this condition is man made, nature doing it's thing or simply normal if assessed over a long period - time will tell.

I follow a science blog and they assert man has been the cause of all changes and disasters - period and totally.  I follow another site that totally debunks all scientific data and they say it's been like this forever and will be forever.  I fall somewhere in between and not necessarily in the middle on different issues.

Donkeytail Spurge is funny 
looking and hardy 
Historic data substantiates weather and environmental differences come and go.  Although US weather data doesn't go back more than a little over 150 years, it does point to disasters rearing their ugly head  on a rather regular (but not necessarily often) basis.

Scientific data does accurately document how some changes are in areas that have had the most negative environmental impact.  This data often takes small portions of a situation and jumps from that data to an all sweeping generalization.  By that I mean data from reports (an example only for making a point) would theorize because there are fewer blue eyed humans in the world than ever before, and blue eyed people are more susceptible to the damage from sun, then it must be that the sun exposure is the reason there are fewer blue eyed people.  Faulty conclusions to related facts.

Because both sides of the hype may pull any related data to substantiate their claims, it tends to negate their findings.  Zealots for any cause become blinded to anything other than own conclusions and pick and choose data to support the wanted end conclusion.  Too bad since we need to be accurately informed and take the right measures to continue to care for our world.

In the recent report talking about drought and water supply, my recurring thought was this is an excellent opportunity for scientists and inventors to be on the front end of new devices and methods to work within these changes.  Too often all we hear is doom and gloom statements.

Sedum "Pink Chablis
It reminds me of a supervisory tool I used in my prior life where I never let an employee bring a problem to me without also giving a solution.  It kept whining for whining sake to a minimum and it encouraged employees to think beyond their own duties and often it was a great solution.  I wish those that report doom and gloom and the news media had that same criteria.  Hopefully, some new-bee will jump on the situation and show we still have the ability to think and develop new ideas for this world's changes.

Then there's the gardening portion I'm working towards:  Why not try a small plot of land designed for dryer conditions?   Something that survives extremely cold winters and drier summers?  IF indeed our future is for different weather, why not experiment with gardening for those conditions right now and at a more leisurely pace than if it's actually a reality?  Some ideas:

A succulent filled bed.
A stone garden (think Japanese gardens)
Sending your rainwater into a rain barrel for later distribution.
Directing your downspouts to specific areas needing more moisture.
Researching what plants take the least moisture but still withstand heavy rains.

Zebra Grass
There are many MANY articles about how to conserve and repurpose our natural resources.  If you start little, you might find yourself on the cutting edge of an idea.  Or you may simply make a beautiful and different garden within your Midwest yard.

And as a warning:  Do not believe all the hype on either side of the claims and arguments.  Consider if the person is trying to sell you something which may skew their data.  Realize some passionate folks skew data without ever realizing they have picked up the zealot's sword and are rushing into the battle without their pants.

Enjoy your day even if you're in snowy Denver or rain parched California.  Today, in Illinois, we are experiencing spring thunderstorms - what a blessing.

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