Although Indiana did not experience the severity of weather Oklahoma did this week, there were times we thought something was going to hit us hard. I remember my earliest experiences of tornado warnings in the suburbs of Chicago. Whenever there was a thunderstorm and a greenish tint to the sky, I would hear the tornado sirens going off. The tell-tale sign of an imminent tornado, I thought, was a green-colored sky.
The skies got a little green over Fort Wayne yesterday. What did I do? I ran out into the open to look for a tornado, of course! Thunderstorms always fascinate me, in spite of their inherent danger. I rode my bicycle to work Monday and Tuesday, missing the rain Monday, and getting hammered for seven miles on the way home Tuesday. I opted out yesterday and today, as forecasters warned of continuing severe storms in the area (and they weren’t kidding!). I have ridden in heavy rain with thunder and lightning, and I have since declined to pedal my ass around under those conditions. I’ll pedal to work for the sake of the environment, but not at the expense of my life. Besides, I drowned my iPod during that ride. That was traumatic enough.
The worst of the storms are now making their way up the East Coast, with the possibility of tornadoes in Vermont, of all places. Vermont? This has to be a result of climate change! It never tornados in Vermont! Is the climate changing? I think so. Do humans have something to do with it? There are many of us, and much of what we have produced on this earth would not have happened naturally. How can we not have some impact? It could be a combination of natural climate change (like the Ice age, or meteors striking the planet, or a combination of both), and all the pollutants we spew. I hope that my bicycle commuting efforts, however small they may be on a planetary scale, influence others to do the same. Support the environment and all that is maple and syrupy- let’s do our part to save Vermont from tornadoes.