In the summer, the air was humid but filled with smells of flowers and pine trees that I associated with a child's adventures of bicycling through the neighborhood, tromping through the woods, running under a water hose, and grilling out with adults. The nights were full of stars, brilliant and splattered across the sky, held up by the backbone of the Milky Way. The stars were rivaled by the fireflies, or lightning bugs, that filled the air beneath the pines. Cicadas chirped and grunted day and night, and left discarded shells enough to fill a wheelbarrow.
In the fall, Halloween nights were cool and overseen by a harvest moon that lighted our tricks in search of treats, and the air was filled with the smell of candles inside of carved pumpkins. In the winter, snow was rare but pristine when it came. The air was cold, and it stayed cold until the spring.
Rainy days came with the spring, and it rained solid for days at a time, sometimes with dark and powerful storms. But then the sun broke through and, once again, the smell of flowers and pines lent promise to the temperate air beneath deep blue skies.
A beautiful day with unlimited visibility could inspire your soul and make you dare to believe that life was good, and that the future held promise.
I reached midlife taking the natural world for granted as an unchanging inspiration. But now, something has changed indeed. Something is different, and awfully wrong.
For some two decades, the local climate has been getting noticeably warmer, with more and stronger storms and such. But beginning around October or November of 2013, we've gone beyond just warmer to bizarre and, if you haven't been paying attention, baffling.
For those old enough to well remember the weather and look of the skies before about the mid 1990s, the sky and weather are just nothing like they were. Here is my list of 10 things that I see every day as being unnatural about the weather and nature. This is not an exhaustive list, just obvious things I believe anyone will see if they watch the skies:
1. Constant, silvery white mist, like smog, that cuts visibility and makes what sunshine that gets through, very glaring. It varies in intensity, but never clears.
2. Mostly thin "clouds" that break up into clumps but retain long, parallel line formations across the sky.
3. Thick cumulus clouds are much more rarely seen on a "clear" day, and when you do, they don't reach as high into the atmosphere as they used to.
4. Clouds generally have a flat appearance. They are clumpy on a "fair" day, and ragged and "wild" on rainy days.
5. Most storm systems are spotty and very local. Even when it's raining, a third or more of the sky is "clear" bluish.
6. Lightning shimmers like a Stephenie Meyer vampire.
7. Greatly reduced insect populations--mosquitoes, honey bees, bumble bees, butterflies.
8. Trees dying--yellowed leaves, dropping foliage, brown tops, paler greens.
9. Vegetables and flowers are harder to grow, even in soil that looks good.
10. Behind the white "smog," in the early mornings and late evenings, high-flying aircraft are seen trailing long, thick plumes--sometimes visually persistent, sometimes not--flying parallel or irregular patterns.
I have come to believe, through observation and research, that these aberrations of weather and deleterious effects on nature are the results of steadily increasing climate warming from a planetary greenhouse condition.
This warming is greatly compounded by geoengineering efforts facilitated by the spraying of aerosols from aircraft, and the manipulation of the ionosphere and jet stream by high-intensity beams of electromagnetic radiation.
Ongoing geoengineering is the single greatest threat to all life on earth.
I have set my Dentville novels in a future decimated by the Taker culture. In my vision, nature (Gaia) has responded to humankind's assault with a release of energy that ends in an ice age (one possible scenario). People struggle to survive at a neolithic level, even as forces rise to return to a society of technology and domination. Even if geoengineering is stopped, I believe this to be an optimistic scenario.
I want to see blue skies again, with the beauty of majestic, white cumulus clouds drifting through them. I want to see storms that arise naturally and drop their load of unadulterated moisture on a grateful earth. I want to be able to take inspiration from nature again.
I want there to be a future for humanity. It there is to be, then we must fight for it. I believe in the power of the accumulation of small efforts. If all of us do even a small part, even just accepting the testimony of our own eyes, it can become an overwhelming flood for the good.
You can begin by educating yourself. Here is a good place to start.