Strange summer

Icouldn’t believe it. I’d been watching some young “punkins” growing on the vine in our garden. They started out as a bloom, and then matured into tiny pumpkins. I was looking forward to an orange, happy fall.

Then one morning I checked on the baby pumpkins, and they had fallen off the vine. What in tarnation?

I moved to the cucumber vines and picked a couple of succulent “cukes.” One however had molded right on the vine. I’ve never seen this before–a live, growing fruit that molded while still attached to the vine. Same thing with a couple of peppers. What is going on?

It must be the wet July we’re having. Things are so wet they are molding and rotting on the vine.

Another thing I have never seen: our rain gauge, that holds five inches of water, overflowed–not only once, but twice in about a three-week period. Other parts of the state, like NW Iowa, are suffering from drought. And we here in SE Iowa are water logged. In July, I’m more accustomed to lawns burning up and the ground cracking, not pooling water. Some farmers haven’t even gotten their crops in. The Western United States is burning up, literally. Lake Mead is the lowest it’s ever been and Los Angeles County is rationing water. Smoke from California can be seen in New York City! Europe and China are having devastating floods that are killing people.

There’s no denying that global climate change is taking place, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Temperatures and climate world wide have constantly changed, from the beginning of time. Remember the Ice Age that we were taught about in science class? Don’t we find fossilized fish in what is now desert? Weather patterns are constantly changing. What is surprising is that we expect the world to be static–for one year to be like the next. It isn’t.

The bigger question is are we speeding up or accelerating climate change by the burning of fossil fuel–the green house effect? I think so.

What do we do about this? Are we polluting the only earth we have so badly that it will become uninhabitable by humans in the future? Are we brewing in our own stew? Are we headed to a future where we have to wear masks because the air quality is so poor? Many of the lakes in Iowa are so polluted that it’s not safe for swimming because of E. coli and other pathogens.

I saw something else this summer I’ve never seen before. I was mowing (it’s been continuous mowing this July) and a dove dropped out of the sky right in front of me like it was shot. It hit the ground, struggled for a while, gasping, then died. I don’t know what caused this. The only explanation I can think of is that there was a lot of aerial spraying going on all around us. Is this the canary in the coalmine? When birds and animals die off, guess who’s next.

After his space flight, Jeff Bezos stated, “We can move all heavy industry and all polluting industry off of earth.” We should save earth from climate change and pollute space. (This may be the most important statement of the 21st Century.) In his high school valedictorian speech, young Bezos stated, the “final objective is to get all people off the earth and see it turned into a huge national park.”

I know I’m going to catch a lot of heat for saying this, and I’m not one who takes criticism lightly. But we need to stop burning fossil fuels. Now! Wind, solar, electric sources need to be developed fast, before it’s too late. It may already be too late. We know of no other inhabitable planet in the universe or solar system. We can’t develop space cities on the Moon or Mars fast enough to save anymore than a few human beings. Because of our poor stewardship, we are looking at the eventual, total, destruction or annihilation of the human race.

It is through forward thinking people like Musk, Bezos, Branson and Gates (all Americans, you note–capitalism and ingenuity go hand-in-hand) that answers will come. Yep, they’re rich. But at least they’re attempting to do something about our environmental crisis, not just talk about it.


Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526.


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