The U.K.’s Lake District National Park

My late wife and I traveled to the United Kingdom several times in the nineties and early two-thousands. During one trip in 2002 we hiked in the Lake District with friends. It’s truly an astounding place of beauty. As is true of most of the northern latitudes’ topography, mountains are the result of millions of years of plate tectonic activity and subsequent glaciation.

According to the U.K. Government’s website, Slate developed from sediments in oceans and seas, volcanoes erupted, limestone was formed by the deposition of dead crustaceans and sandstone was created in desert conditions. Various minerals were also formed in joints and faults in the bedrock. The layers of rock formed were shifted and sculpted – first through different stages of folding and uplifting and then by the actions of glaciers and melt-water.

The folding and uplifting of sediment followed by heat and compression is similar to the process of rock formation along Maine’s coast.

You can see the results of this in one area of the park in the following photo. Even on an overcast day it’s really something (other photos are at my online gallery).

 

Lake District, England

Maine Waterscapes

You will find three of my recent photographs at my on-line gallery. I shot these with my medium format Mamiya film camera using Kodak Tri-X film, so they are a bit grainy. You can identify this camera’s shots because they are nearly always in square format (unless I crop them off square). I always use a tripod when I’m shooting land- waterscapes for better composition, and sharpness or long exposures.

I develop my black and white films, then I scan them, and process them using Adobe Lightroom.

Climate Science a Hoax?

Although the Internet and later, social media, were supposed to be democratizing and held the opportunity for establishing a global village, it seems the opposite is true. Yet, here I sit typing away on social media trying to make a progressive point about inequality and climate science. I do this despite the fact that most readers of my blog mostly agree with what I have to say. If there are any critics reading this, do let me hear from you.

People love science when it brings them something that has practical benefits. But when science questions the way we live–look out! Just look at what happened to poor Galileo who used scientific inquiry to prove that the Earth was not the center of the heavens, instead revolving around the sun (actually, he was wrong about the sun as the center of the universe–it’s not really the center of anything, except our solar system). Since his findings conflicted with Catholic dogma what did it get him? House arrest.

We all know how difficult it is to get some people to wear face masks to limit the spread of Covid-19 even though we’re in the midst of an uncontrolled outbreak and public health experts and epidemiologists say the current science shows that masks work. Now consider how much more challenging it is to address climate change which plays out over a much longer period–with the most critical impacts not expected until around mid-century. Here again, many don’t accept the science.

Some things have not changed much over the centuries.

Visit my page where I discuss how inequality and climate science here in the U.S. are linked.

Full Moon Tide

A number of us were out on the Presumpscot watershed this morning to photograph the high water level as part of Portland’s the environmental impact studies. Today’s height was 11.8 feet, compared with 2008’s maximum November height of 11.5 feet–3.6 inches higher in just 12 years. And sea levels are accelerating as the polar ice and snows recede, thus reflecting less of the sun’s heat. As you can see in two of the photos, there are no beach areas left at high tide. I’ll continue taking photos at these spots location during the highest tides of each month.


Drumlins, Not Gremlins

The drumlins of western and central New York comprise the largest field of their kind in the world. Drumlins are deposits left by the glaciers; these, unlike most, are sculpted by the harsh winter winds and precipitation off Lake Ontario. These shots were taken on the south shore of Lake Ontario at Chimney Bluffs State Park. They’re pretty spectacular when bathed in red light towards sunset.

The deep-water Great Lakes only freeze around the edges, due to their rough winter waters. Erie is the only lake that freezes over, though the freeze hasn’t been near complete in recent years, because of climate change.

Storms cause larger swells on deeper lakes. Near hurricane force winds sank the legendary Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior when its bow and stern were caught atop separate swells (possibly as high as thirty-five feet), causing the ship to break in half and immediately sink.

These aren’t your typical lakes; they’re our North Coast.

Sunday Cycle Ride Loop From Biddeford, ME

Click here to view the ride.

Well, it’s been just beautiful these past several days in Maine. I’ve ridden about 85 miles. I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to last before I have to put the bike way and bring out the snowshoes. This ride took us past Walker’s Point, home of the late GHW Bush. Sorry, I didn’t take the photo.

People were still swimming here in November. If that’s not proof positive of global warming I don’t know what is! Perhaps palm trees here in the near future (hey,they grow on England’s southwest coast).

“Can We Cool the Planet?” Right Now, on Nova

The average temperature of our atmosphere is now 1oC warmer than it was in 1880. Scientists are now concerned that we are approaching what they hypothesize to be a tipping point where the atmosphere becomes 1.5oC warmer than it was in 1880. At our current rate of fossil fuel use, this would likely start before the end of the 21st century.

As I reported on my page, Climate Change, Health, and Micro-industrialization, if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, the world would continue to warm, though at a slower rate. That’s because there’s so much CO2 in the atmosphere (over 400 PPM) that the greenhouse effect will continue to warm things up. Furthermore, annual wildfires of greater intensity, and the loss of reflective ice and snow in the Polar Regions also contribute to temperature rise. Our only option, in addition to stopping the burning of fossil fuels, is to remove it from the atmosphere, something we cannot yet do on a large scale. Nova presented all the initiatives and their associated problems for doing this, aired on October 28, 2020.

That we are clearly going to burn fossil fuels for some time, and that carbon capture currently cannot be done on a large scale suggests that our biosphere is going to get dangerously hotter. The global situation is such that we are facing a slow-motion version of getting hit by a giant asteroid or a nuclear war. All life will be affected to varying degrees. Unfortunately, we are not very good at addressing things that seem to be “far into the future.” I guess if I had the choice, I would go for the asteroid. We could really rally a plan for that.