This image was sent in an email from a friend and occasional commentor on this blog, the mysterious SR. These are giant snow feet that were created in the latest snowstorm that crippled the North East US and New York City. New York is suffering from it's heaviest accumalation of snow in decades, it might be one of the snowiest winters on record.
Tonight, I am sitting in my house here in La Sechere with all of the shutters latched tightly shut listening to the ever increasing gale winds battering the hilltop we sit on.
I have a shipment of roofing tiles for the barn sitting out on the lawn to repair the barn roof from the last big storm, almost one year ago. That was a Northern Atlantic version of a Hurricane, a Tempete named Klaus. Klaus destroyed much of the pine forest in Lalande, west of Bordeaux. The forest was just beginning to really recover from the huge storm that occurred in 1999. That storm knocked the power out here for weeks. I was arriving here in France as it hit and landed in Toulouse on a flight from Frankfurt. I flew over the storm and was unaware of the scope and the severity. Actually there were two storms and I read about the first one sitting in the Frankfort airport and the destruction it caused in Paris.
When I arrived in Toulouse, which was untouched by the storm, I tried to take a train to Brive-la-Gaillarde, only to find sheer chaos reigning in the station as all trains going north were cancelled because of damage. I was stuck in Toulouse for 3 exciting days and learned a lot about the city.
That was called the storm of the century. There is still damage visible from that storm. The storm called Klaus was just as bad and came too soon into the next century to be called the storm of the century. Klaus really hammered Toulouse. There have been a number of huge Tempetes in between and tonight looks to be very bad for the regions North of here...
I think I will be lucky this time, but I hope what remains of the back wall of my barn is still standing. That also began to collapse after Klaus. The work is supposed to start any day now, in the classic French tradition, but if there is a lot of regional damage here, the builders we contracted to do the work might be very busy.
We are lucky as well, in light of the tragic earthquake in Chile. The energy of the quake is supposed to have been 500 times as powerful as the Haitian quake, but Chile is a much more developed country in a very sesmically active region and they have strict building codes. Still the damage reports I am beginning to see are horrific. As I write, I am getting reports of the tsunami that might affect most of the Pacific coastline.
Earthquakes are one thing;, they are part of the life of our planet. The phenomena of the weather is another thing all together. The increase in damaging winter Tempetes in Europe and the extreme snowfall in the Northeast US, the increase in the size of the hurricanes in the Carribean and Cyclones in Asia are all manifestations of human induced climate change. Yesterday, an ice shelf the size of Luxembourg detached itself from Antartica and started its journey that will truly affect the planets climate for years to come.
And on Friday, Rush Limbaugh made his pronouncement the Climate Debate was over because the snow in New York proved it. All it proves is the sad fact that Simple Minds Demand Simple Answers.