Merry Wanderer of the Night + nonfiction

Leif Reads: But what about all this snow?

Every month Aths and I are reading one eco-centered book for our feature Leif Reads. To find out more about this feature visit the about page.

With all the snow falling this year a lot of people think the signs of global warming are over. In reality, all of this snow is just more proof of the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. More carbon dioxide in the air means the air holds more moisture, and that moisture has to go someplace which is why we've had record snow and rainfalls recently. Since there is more rain on the ground and there needs to be somewhere for it to go we experience floods. As Bill McKibben points out in Eaarth, "a river that has to carry more water takes up more space... the river [the road] running next to is getting wider because we now live on a planet where warmer air holds more water vapor and hence we have bigger storms. There's no room for the road to shift" (61).

This is something that really hits home for me because I've experienced two pretty monstrous floods in last three years. One where I live now, Iowa City, and one where I grew up, Des Moines. While you may not care about the natural problems with flooding, I'm sure you care about the people whose lives are changed by them. "After such a disaster, researchers report, 'people feel inadequate, like outside forces are taking control of their lives" (75). This is a huge problem right now. Our earth is not the only thing changing, we as people are changing because of these things we've done to our earth.

Flooding in Colfax, Iowa, where my dad grew up. This flood was just last summer and washed out the majority of the fields in area. Photo source.

I walk by this building every day, but during the flood of 2008 the door was blocked off by water. Photo source.

We all know flooding happens, but it's important to make the connection between the amount of snowfall we see and the amount of flooding we have. Snow is frozen, but when it melts that means there is more water in our rivers. More water than our rivers can hold.

Have any of you experienced a flood?

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Leif Reads: But what about all this snow? + nonfiction