LAKE MACBRIDE— After completion of the Sept. 19 storm cleanup, the monetary cost will be $230.50, including hiring an arborist to tend to two trees and a construction company to repair the fascia on the southwest corner of the house. It was not much, and a lot less expense than others in the neighborhood experienced.
I avoided the cost of disposing of the fallen branches by cutting them into two types: firewood to be sold, and brush to be burned. The cost is in time, with one or two more four hour sessions of cutting ahead, and at least two more burns when the wind dies down. We’ll evaluate the condition of the damaged trees and lilac bushes and make adjustments after the burning is finished. With pruning, the lilacs can be saved.
Beside our checking account and labor, and a share of the bill for the damage in our subdivision, another toll from the storm lingers— the idea that this worst in 20 years weather event, coupled with recent severe drought and terrible flooding, is just the beginning of the effects of climate change on our lives. Whatever severe weather we might have had was intensified by the effects of global warming. That a monetary value can be assigned is a sign of things to come.
Farm and newspaper work continues over the weekend, so the cleanup will wait until next week. Cleanup displacing other things to be done to advance our socioeconomic status in Big Grove. The storm cleanup reinforces the idea that climate change is real and happening now. We need to do something to protect what we hold dear, we can’t be effective alone, and the time to act is now.