After spending the day scrambling for funds, packing my knapsack, arranging transportation and convincing my wife that I was not “crazy” to believe I should drop everything to head across the country to participate in a four-day march/organizing event with a bunch of rabble-rousing environmentalists, Mother Nature (or God, if you prefer) stepped in to remind me that humans don’t control the weather.
We’re doing many things that will change the Earth’s climate in unpredictable and uncontrollable ways, but those actions only make the weather less predictable with more extremes.
I live in a place where the weather at this time of year is often amazing. It’s plenty warm enough to make swimming in lakes, rivers and pools a refreshing, thoroughly enjoyable experience. Nights can be pleasantly cool with temperatures occasionally dipping into the 50s but mostly in the 60s to low 70s. (All temps in Fahrenheit)
Rain is relatively rare in June, with occasional scattered afternoon thunderstorms. Those afternoon thunderstorms are not as regular as they were when I lived on the South Florida coast, where heavy humid from a warm ocean rises over land as it warms under a midday sun, but they happen every once in a while.
When I lived in South Florida, one of the things I learned to do was to avoid booking a late afternoon flight during June-September. I’ve not had to establish that personal rule of travel here, but yesterday was a particularly violent weather day.
Flash floods, intense lighting, wind gusts up to 60 MPH and hail that approached 2 inches in diameter combined to ground both of the late afternoon flights out of the Lynchburg Regional airport yesterday. There is only one airline serving our convenient little airport. It flies Dash-8s and provides six flights each day to Charlotte, NC. If a flight is cancelled, oh well. Better luck later or tomorrow. Cancellations always happen after it’s too late to decide to make the 3+ hour drive to Charlotte to catch connecting flight there.
This is turning into a shaggy dog story. I’ll end it by saying it was a kind of surreal experience to have unusually wild storms that ended up cancelling my quickly laid plans to attend a march, rallies and organizing with environmentalists who are increasingly passionate about effective actions to slow CO2 emissions.
My colleagues and I call ourselves Ecomoderists because we’re nerdy enough to understand both the science of climate change and the engineering reality that weather dependent systems are too unreliable to meet the needs and wants of a global population that exceeds 7 billion people and appears likely to exceed 9 billion in the foreseeable future. Our March for Environmental Hope is aimed at helping other environmentally concerned people to understand that their futures and those of their progeny are being threatened by purposeful, greed-inspired misinformation about the value of virtually emission-free nuclear power.
Nearly two dozen people made contributions to me yesterday to support my plan to fly nearly 6,000 miles round trip in order to help make the point that it’s wrong to plan on closing Diablo Canyon 20-60 years before it’s actually worn out.
Diablo Canyon is an already built, lovingly-maintained, reliable, barely middle aged nuclear power plant that produces enough electricity each year to off-set the CO2 production of about 2 million automobiles. It has access to the largest heat sink on the planet, the Pacific Ocean. There is room on the site and abundantly more than enough cooling capacity to build several new replacement units without any impact on the existing plant’s operation. It cannot be replaced by unreliables or “energy efficiency.”
It’s absurd to listen to people who tell you otherwise by referring to “studies” produced by an “institute for energy” with openly promoted financial ties to competitive energy sources that would benefit greatly by forcing Diablo Canyon out of the market.
They seem especially intent on making sure that its beautiful site cannot be intelligently developed as a powerhouse that could, by itself, supply every car and Powerwall that Tesla can ever hope to produce while also providing abundant fresh water during times when all of the cars are fully charged and all other power needs have been met.
I promised donors for my trip that I would return the money if I did not travel to California. Some donors gave specific instructions that I was not to return the money even if I decided not to go. American Airlines told me it will take 7-10 working days to process the refund for my cancelled flight. I’d like to give the $1172 refund directly to Mothers for Nuclear to use in their continuing efforts. The March will go on, even if it’s missing an interested blogger from Virginia.
If you donated and do not like that plan, please comment or contact me at rod_adams at atomicinsights.com and I will refund your trip donation. I’ll send Mothers for Nuclear the $1172 once the refund is processed even if some people ask for their money back.
Note: I have received a couple of comments already from a particularly annoying source. Some of you might recognize the distinctive style even though he’s using a new pseudonym. In the past, I’ve simply dumped his diatribes. Maybe sharing screenshot versions will help make him find someone else to pester.