Climate versus Weather

People get confused about the difference between climate and weather. Let’s contemplate it, shall we? Today, I look out at the weather. It is perfect: blue skies. A light breeze. An occasional white puff of a cloud. The sun is free to charge the batteries of our house and our cars.

Fun fact sidebar: Did you know that our car batteries are five times the size of our house batteries? I find that mind-boggling. If all of us had electric cars that could plug into the house, imagine that! Power outages would be a piece of history.

Tesla is on it with their power wall. And I’m about to watch this video on how everyone with an EV (electric vehicle) can use their car to power their house during a power outage.

Back to the weather: we are experiencing perfect weather, that that happens just as the seasons change from summer to fall. Cooler nights. Ever so slightly cooler days which is resulting in our tomatoes still being on the very green side. All our plants are behind and I wonder whether it was our tender, loving care or the changing climate. It gets stranger every day. Here in New Hampshire that means a lot of rain . . . No, it’s a drought! No . . . rain and less snow, more ice. Warmer winters and the sugar maple trees are in trouble. Not being Ents (see J.R.R. Tolkien books), they can’t walk to more comfortable environs. They need time to adapt. The climate is changing fast. Time will tell if it’s changing too fast for maple trees. As for maple syrup:

Although the range of sugar maples changes slowly, the flow of sap in a sugarbush is dynamic and depends on fine temperature variations that occur daily throughout late winter and early spring. Sap flows best when nighttime temperatures drop into the mid-20s and when daytime highs reach around 38-40°F.”⁠1

The good news is that most of the maple syrup bought in the U.S. of A. is made of high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavoring. Yum, yum. 

Another example of the climate changing (as opposed to the variables of weather) is happening down south. In a word: Dorian. What a hurricane! One minute it’s a category 3, the next a 5 and now back down to 3. Which is not something to scoff at. Hurricanes are not a reason to have a party (though, I admit, we’ve done that before.) These massive storms have a lot of scary wind and rain in them.

Is water DNA trackable? Would we be able to tell if some of the water that’s prepping to fall in Florida up to the Carolinas is from the melted ice bergs? 

Deluge to drought. That’s why Carl and I are constantly trying to figure out more water catchment up here. Every time we take a shower, we hold a gallon plastic water jug up to the shower head. Thereby, we catch the 3/4 of a gallon of cold water that falls out of our shower before it gets warm. We use that water to water our indoor plants. 

Drought to deluge: Carl has calculated that 60-70,000 gallons of water falls on our roof every year. If we have our act together, before any rain storm, Carl empties our two 2,500 gallon underground water tanks into our pool-pond, or our swales so that the tanks can capture more water that we then use to water our outdoor plants or fill the pool-pond. 

Do we sound puritanical? Portlandian? Ever so slightly obsessive? It’s only another form of off-grid living, a raising to consciousness our water use just like we consider our energy use. Every day. Every hour. Especially now that we are going into the shorter-day season with an aging lead acid battery system and two EVs. This could be a very interesting winter.