Monday, August 17, 2015

Burning hot and dry California: global warming a hoax, really?

Often these days I'm dreaming Albert Einstein would still be with us and help us formulate a proof that global warming is real and man made! He had such a genius to make things way more complicated and way less tangible accessible to all, I'm wondering who is going to step up to the challenge, I mean be successful at solving this embarrassing sustainability question. Not that I have much doubt myself in what science has already proven, analytically and experimentally, but because I'm speechless when I see denial statements coming from people that are supposed to be smart enough to... think!

Will Bill Nye succeed where so many have failed:
("The Bill Nye" documentary project has already raised $850K on KickStarter, that's a great start!)

In the meantime... here we are, a weekend during which we experienced pretty much all the symptoms of this global warming in Silicon Valley, in this beautiful California which is set ablaze and is fighting a 5-year drought:

  1. Smoke from wild fires raging hundreds of miles away,
  2. Record temperatures above 100F, including in Santa Cruz right on the Pacific Ocean,
  3. Lack of water in reservoirs,
  4. Lack of groundwater,
  5. High levels of pollen,
  6. Dried vegetation,
and we could go on... On Saturday morning, I was looking forward to the gorgeous views from the top of Black Mountain and took my camera with me. It felt harder than usual to climb along the Stevens Creek Canyon road and trail, and, with such a smell of smoke, I was wondering if I would get in a fire in one of our nearby parks. No, the smoke was coming from a distant fire in North California and there was so much of it that I couldn't see the bottom of the Valley from Black Mountain (2,800 feet), and barely Mt Umunhum.

I still managed to run 28.5 miles on Saturday, taking the back route to the top of Black Mountain. It had been a while since I ran the REI trail in the Stevens Creek Park, the home of our local Stevens Creek Striders Club. It was in August 2003 which I ran it for the first time with the Club, and when I'd hear about the existence of insane races of 100 miles... I learned so much from folks like Charles Stevens, the the Club President, or Mark Williams, who was the first to complete the grueling Barkley Marathon (which is actually 100 super hilly miles of back washing).

For sure, back then, there was more water in the reservoir. Agn├Ęs went kayaking last week, and Alex and I in June, but the low level doesn't allow for much exploration into the Stevens Creek Canyon.

On Sunday, there was slightly less smoke and I didn't go that far, only 16.6 flat miles, but I had to stop 4 times due to the heat (101F), and I believe poor air quality as well. It's hard to breath and even sweat when the air is as hot as the inside of your body...

Hopefully we won't need this heat training for the Tamalpa US Nationals 50K trail race in 2 weeks but, who knows, maybe for Ohlone 50K in September!

To finish on a more positive note than the start of this post, it was uplifting to read the compliments about how well California is coping with and addressing the drought. This means a lot coming from such an expert on sustainable development and water supply-related matters, Charles Fishman (author of “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water.”). I strongly encourage you to read his columm in the New York Times. Yes, with the right behaviors and an unconditional belief that we need to radically change to avoid an ecological catastrophe, we can do this and get smarter!

Did you feel that global warming too this Summer?

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