CALIFORNIA FLOODS

THE CONTRARIAN

A page from Willy Brant’s diary — Went over to help Joe with some fence repairs the other day. We were fixing up his bull pen so he can keep old Sam separated from the cows for a few months so he won’t have calves born in winter. We ran for the barn when a shower came up, which reminded me of the floods in California. So I says ”funny thing, after so many years of drought with the whole state in danger of shutting down for lack of water, they suddenly got so much rain the place is washing out to sea. Why would anyone move there? Talk about climate change!”
Joe looked surprised, I guess his mind was still on the bull pen, and then he responded “Yeah, and I haven’t seen anything claiming this is carbon-caused climate change, that’s sort of surprising.” We listened to the rain on the barn roof for a bit, doesn’t take much rain on a tin roof to be really loud. Then Joe went on “I read a paper a year or two ago about that drought. It said there was a big patch of ocean off the coast of Oregon where the water was warmer than it should be, stayed that way for months and months. That was deflecting the normal weather patterns and causing the drought in California. It claimed the last time this happened they were able to connect it to a big volcano going off under the ocean. The paper suggested the same thing might be happening now with some smaller volcanos, not one big one they could detect.”
So I came up with “So, are you suggesting maybe their drought was all about volcanos under the sea? And maybe the weather change and flooding is all about the volcano’s shutting down?”
“Who knows?” from Joe. “For sure that whole coastline is on unstable ground, they are always getting little earthquakes, and some people expect one of these days they will have a big one, like San Francisco a hundred years ago, with houses falling down all over the place”.
“I saw a documentary last winter about Yellowstone Park”, says I, “they claimed the whole place is a huge volcano ready to go off someday, so big it might cause a years-long worldwide winter, with starvation and so on.”
“Yes, I saw that one too”, from Joe. “Also I read a paper that said that they took some drill cores in the muddy bottom in some swamps or small lakes close to the Pacific, and lines in the mud told them that a huge tsunami floods the whole west coast of the continent every 500 years, like clockwork. They said it is 500 years since the last one, so we are overdue for the next one. Maybe the small underwater volcanos shutting down means the big ones that cause the tsunami are getting ready to blow!”
The rain stopped, so I finished with “I guess folks out there ought to hang onto their hats! Or keep a boat tied up outside the back door!” “Amen” from Joe, as we went back to work.

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