Saturday, March 24, 2012

And the Heat Goes on......

The post that follows is one I wanted to write on March 19, but I've been more than a little distracted and overwhelmed lately. I've just been informed that my job (and that of hundreds of others) is ending in 90 days. Congress has not re-authorized the funds for my program, and another one that also served the disabled. It turns out we're just as expendable as everyone else working for a living these days! Having a very specialized knowledge base, along with years of training and experience didn't save us.

I'm worried for myself, but also worried that another avenue of services for people who need help has closed. The region I cover is largely remote and rural, where there are no similar services to take its place. At least I'm able-bodied and there are many things I can do. That's not the case for most of the folks I serve.

So I've been struggling with emotions that swing wildly from shock and numbness one minute, to anger and fear the next. It hasn't been the best frame of mind of concentrating, to say the least! I know that so many of you out there have dealt with this also; sadly, this has become the new reality for the working/middle class.

Anyway...On March 19th, the last day of *winter*, here in the mountains of WNC the temperature was in the mid-to-upper 70's, as it has been for many days. Things that normally bloom in April have been in full bloom for several weeks. While I'm pleased not to be paying for heat any longer, especially since Duke Power recently imposed a big rate increase, this is kinda creeping me out.

No one I know can ever remember temperatures like this so early in the year. It truly is unprecedented, and this wildly atypical weather, a pattern that has been full of extremes (try mountain tornadoes in January and February!) across the country, typifies a climate that is being dramatically altered. And this isn't just our anecdotal impressions. The following piece in Common Dreams addresses the bizarre and unprecedented nature of what we're experiencing now:

Unprecedented, "Eye-Popping" Temperatures Soar, Highs Continue

Climate scientist: "This is to me the most unusual weather event I've witnessed in my lifetime."

People from the Midwest and Northeast have been stepping out to record-setting temperatures this month. Meteorologists are calling the temperatures unprecedented.

Deke Arndt, who leads the climate monitoring branch of the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said, “This will be a March event that we’ll look back on as one of the big March events of modern history.” And Jonathan Martin, chairman of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at UW-Madison, adds, "This is to me the most unusual weather event I've witnessed in my lifetime."

Weather maps show many areas with temperatures at 30 degrees above normal days in a row...." Read more at Common Dreams

Also see THIS.


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Even as this president campaigns from the left, he continues to govern from the right. He has maintained the spirit of the right-wing ideologues by succumbing to a radical agenda of slashing the much needed and vital social services provided through government assistance. Your predicament is not unlike that of thousands of others who have sacrificed much to help those who are less fortunate, only to be discarded for the sake of those who need it the least.

I wish for you, with heartfelt sincerity, that a new and more abundant prosperity finds its way to your door, and that your search for a new direction and path in life steers you with a minimum of anxiety and unforeseen bumps and dips along the way. As much as possible, I hope you will view this as a new beginning; less as a loss. This may be the way you've already chosen. You just don't know it yet.

Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

3:45 PM  

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