It was ninety-one degrees here in Portland last Wednesday. Now I really feel like a slacker for not getting my peas in, especially since according to the new USDA growing guide, Portland just got bumped from zone 7 to 8, which is warmer. So I could have planted my peas a long time ago.
I thought something was up when I heard that we've got enough olives growing in the Willamette Valley to warrant an olive oil festival. As a matter of fact, according to the Washington Post, the new growing guide shifted the kinds of plants that need warm weather north all over the country. I must be a curmudgeon, because being able to find Hood strawberries at the farmer's market three weeks early doesn't make me happy. I think it's scary.
Sure, the Midwest is having a long winter -- but that's the difference between weather and global climate change. As a whole, the planet is warming up. Now it's something you can see. Big chunks of ice melting. Big! Like polar ice caps and Antarctic sheets.
Summer ice melt in Antarctica is at the highest point In 1,000 years, researchers say. Getty Images
And I'm not irritated about that, because well, how can you be irritated about your home planet turning into Waterworld? And running around screaming doesn't seem to do any good. I tried that, yesterday.
But what does irritate me is that only 47% of Americans believe that global warming is caused by human activities. Only one in five Americans know that eighty percent of the planet's scientists agree that global warming is a basic fact.
Time to believe the back of your seed packet. It's here. It's happening. And whether or not it's our fault, it's time to figure out what to do about it.