I remember 1977.
Star Wars. That was really what that year was about. How many times did you go to see it? We were poor, and yet I saw the movie at the theatre maybe 4 or 5 times. When was the last time you watched a movie at the theatre 4 or 5 times? Me, never before and never since. And my 4 or 5 times was nothing to what many of my friends did.
1977 was also the middle of a serious drought in the west. We lived in Reno at the time and the Truckee River through downtown dwindled to more of a creek and series of puddle holes, from what I remember. When things finally got better, the question became whither it was the end of the drought or just a slight reprieve to possibly a longer drought, not yet realized.
And then in the early 1990’s, I left California in the middle of yet another drought. The reservoirs all drew down to then historic levels. One lake in particular drew down to expose the old dam before they built the much larger new dam. Again, the weather changed and the drought subsided.
Without going into a long history, this has been the pattern of the West my entire life. Yet during these times, we have figured out how to manage it. Our lakes fill. Our lakes empty. Too much rain one year. Too little the next.
I’m not a climate change expert and I really think it’s beyond my scope to understand it all. I like the Earth and without being a total alarmist, I do what I can to help. If help is even possible. For all I know what we see happening can be part of a larger picture that we cannot map in just 200 years of history. Hasn’t the earth froze over and thawed a couple of times that we know of? I don’t know, and I really, beyond recycling, using the AC less, trying to get the best fuel mileage, and etc.; I don’t see my part or opinion as very crucial.
But while I’m here, I’m going to enjoy the Earth my time has allotted to me. I’ll fish the streams, I’ll hike the mountains, and like today, I’ll Kayak the lakes.
None of us had any idea that nearly 40 years later we would be awaiting the release of a new Star Wars movie and the West would be in yet another drought. 40 years again from now, I hope people are still wondering if the lake is half full or half empty; and I’ll be the old man in the middle yelling “Fish on!”