Climate Change Poem 15
Century plant bud stalk, April 2008
Two global events are occurring on September 24, 2011:
1. Moving Planet, a worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis.
2. 100 Thousand Poets for Change, a demonstration/celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.
I thought: Why not do both?
Barring an emergency, I am posting from midnight to midnight, one poem per hour (at any time during that hour). That's starting from 00:00-01:00 and ending at 23:00-24:00 Eastern Time today.
All the poems are sonnets. Each takes its cue from an article dealing with climate change. The articles had been posted beginning on September 15 -- the date of the 24-hour Climate Reality Project that inspired me to do this -- to September 19, the day I drafted the twenty-fourth poem.
The poem for Hour 15 takes its cue from "World's Dams Unprepared for Climate Change Conditions" (Julia Pyper and ClimateWire, Scientific American, Sept. 16, 2011).
Flow and Flexibility
The Hoover Dam was built when water flowed,
Was not designed for an extended drought.
Now retrofits support diminished load.
Thirty percent is where it's leveled out.
A rigid planning model starts to fail
When change outpaces methods of design
That draw from weather's past degree and scale.
What's worse, its cost is nowhere near benign.
The ruin of habitats, endangered loans,
The long-extended brownouts in Nepal
Are signs that hydropower needs to hone
Its building strategy, consider all
Scenarios, perhaps be multi-stage.
To build with nature in this fluid age.
Part of the Solution website (chosen at random)
The Nature Conservancy