I recently returned from a trip to Florida. On the plane home, I visited with a young lady who was born and raised in Florida. She lamented about the hassle of having to board up her windows every year during hurricane season. Actually, she was planning on moving out of the state. As we spoke, Hurricane Karen was brewing in the ocean.
Tropical rainstorm Imelda dumped the second-highest amount of rain on Texas since Hurricane Harvey. Consequently, catastrophic flooding once again threatened Texas livestock. This video shows 50 horses rescued from a flooded ranch. Truly, it is hard to imagine how scary it would be to have your animals in such distress.
My boyfriend Alan showed me a recent article that claimed we have passed the point of no return in terms of how humans have impacted the environment. To clarify, scientists are concerned that global warming has progressed past the point of turning back the clock. There is still debate about this issue. (Here are two articles that discuss this: CO2 levels and Tipping Point.)
I don’t know what the future holds. I only know that I am interested in protecting the people and animals I love in the here and now. Tornado season is relatively brief in Kansas, and the path of destruction usually somewhat limited. To be sure, I can’t imagine living under the threat of a massive hurricane for several months, wondering if you’ll need to evacuate. How stressful!
An article in The Atlantic states that California’s wildfires are 500 percent larger due to climate change. It goes on to state that Californians may feel like they are enduring an epidemic of wildfires.
The past decade has seen half of the state’s 10 largest wildfires and seven of its 10 most destructive fires.
The article in The Atlantic is a pretty doom-and-gloom viewpoint and some scientists disagree with the findings. However, many agree that the increasing heat and temperatures felt across the continent contribute to the 800% increase in forest fires. I am curious, though… how does our ability to know what is happening in the world today vs. hundreds of years ago affect our perception of those events? Were there floods and fires of this magnitude in the 1800’s? How would the average American know about it? Regardless of the answer to that question, it does appear that natural disasters are on the rise.
In my teens, twenties, and thirties I didn’t think so much about catastrophic events. I remember being acutely aware when I traveled that I had young children at home. But other than “mommy brain”, I didn’t worry about my own safety very much. I didn’t wear a helmet when I rode, and I certainly didn’t wear an air vest. I didn’t start buckling my seat belt until my later twenties.
Now Alan teases me about how I prompt him to buckle up, or wear a helmet, or buy an air vest. We both love how our lives are unfolding… I want to do all that I can to preserve our current state of health. As I was finishing this blog on the plane as I returned from Florida yet again, I read a Facebook post from a friend of mine in Tennessee. Troy is the founder of Top Trail. She used to consistently wear her helmet “only when riding the less predictable horse.” However, as she was riding her “Steady Eddie”, he spooked and her head (INSIDE her helmet) hit the ground twice. Troy was very aware of the cracking noise of the helmet. She wrote a compelling post about how she will now always wear her helmet!
How much do YOU think about the “what ifs?” As I stated in a previous blog, “No decision is a decision.” Have a plan for you and your livestock should disaster strike.
This week I will be spending several days at the RFD Ranch. We had a 24-hour turn around time from our second trip to Florida in two weeks, to get on the road to New Mexico. Thank goodness we opted not to take our own horses. Finn wouldn’t have a clue what to do with cattle… I am certain I will have many exciting stories for next week’s blog! And yes, we will be wearing our helmets and our vests, and have our Medical Alert tags hanging from our belts. Maybe not “cool”… but neither is a traumatic injury.