So for the last three days it's been so hot and humid that it's given me a headache. And without air conditioning, our house has been a lovely 28 degrees. Yet this morning, I woke up so cold that I had to put socks on, and ended up dressing the boys in long sleeves and pants! I just don't understand Mother Nature.
I was just reading the forums on CBC about Hurricane Earl, and it was mostly the same thing: people going on and on about how global warming is changing our storms, changing our weather, and how we are all to blame. I certainly believe we have had a part to play in the changes in climate, but I am unsure whether or not I believe we are completely at fault. If one looks at the Earth's history, it has gone through natural cycles of warming and cooling (think of the ice ages), as well as natural changes in CO2 levels. From the little bit I've read (science and history are interests of mine, though I would still love to learn more!), as I understand it the earth's atmosphere acts on a sort of pendulum effect; once it swings too far one way (ie., too much carbon dioxide in the air, thus causing global warming), it over-corrects itself (which leads to an ice age) time and again. Of course, this is super-over simplified, and lacking in all the subtle factors that lead up to or are caused by each extreme state, but the idea is that this has been going on for longer than we have existed on the planet (or even our direct ancestors for that matter), and will continue after we as a species have become extinct.
Though I may not agree that "global warming" is being cause entirely by us, I certainly believe we are speeding up the process. Our use of fossel fuels is releasing CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate much faster than they would naturally. To have the same amount of toxins and pollutants enter the air without us would require an event of catastrophic proportions: the errupting of several volcanos at once, for example.
So what does all this mean to us at home? We are so fortunate to live in an area seldom hit by natural disasters (though even our little ''safe'' neck of the woods was hit by both a tornado and an earthquake in one day - it sure made for interesting times!), but when I hear of all this disasters; earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, etc. increasing in strength and occurance, it makes me want to find even more ways to become completely self-reliant and sustainable. Even if not just for the benefit of ourselves, but for that of our children and future decendants. Chris and I both look to our home and property the way property was viewed back 50-100 years ago; we do not plan on selling our home in our lifetime, but instead it will be willed to our children, and hopefully, as the years and finances progress, we'll have the opportunity to purchase more land to increase our family's wealth. In the meantime, we're doing what we can to make our home as productive as possible.
The gardens have just been the first step. Our choices in food are also slowly changing, as we try to make as much as we can from scratch. When I finally get around to purchasing some essential oils, cleaning products will be the next thing to be made completely at home (we already use baking soda, vinegar and salt a lot), and eventually we'll try our hand at a home-made laundry detergent. Next year we should be getting our chickens, and after reading about the Garden Pool, I have started doing research to perhaps add a small fish pond ecosystem to our backyard, with water-cress and other aquatic plants acting as food and filtration for the fish. And apparently chicken manure also makes a great food for the algae that will feed the fish. (Yet another use for chicken manure we have discovered - chickens are such useful creatures!)
A pond certainly would be an interesting addition to the homestead! (Though I have no idea where we would fit it...)