I guess it was about three years ago when I attended a conference in Chicago about restoring the Great Lakes and surrounding watersheds.  I remember now that it was in early 2009 – as everyone was sniffing around for stimulus money. Hey! Remember when “shovel ready” was the sexy new phrase?  We may need that shovel yet to bury our economy, but that’s a subject for greater minds than this one.  

Anyway, it was an informative event, and most everyone said the right things (not too many people snorted when I asked a panel of speakers when society was going to restore the proper flow of Chicago River!)  The keynote speech from that event still sticks in my mind: a big wheel from the EPA pronounced dire warnings that the Midwest was due to get warmer and wetter due to climate change.  Golly, the Bush era really was over!   Warmer and wetter isn’t necessarily bad unless your town’s storm sewers are out of date.  Gulp!  Memo to design engineers: bigger pipes…

Well, the weather over the past couple weeks has been a little intense. Well, gosh, maybe not if you’re a native of Pondicherry, but for us locals, these back-to-back delugues are a novelty. Is this odd weather caused by global warming?  I’m not ready to say that, but it did get me thinking about that EPA guy and his speech.   He seemed really concerned about a warmer and wetter Midwest in the near future.

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.   


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Dave Coulter

I have been a horticulturist for thirty years working in the Chicago area and beyond. I have lived in Oak Park for over thirteen years. My writing has recently appeared in the journal Ecological Restoration...

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