The Opossum Migration and Other Signs of Doom

Minnesota is an underrated and badass state. Partly because Minneapolis ranks among the great American cities I have visited, and mostly because everywhere around it there is water. (And that’s just around the metropolis; I hope to one day get up to the boundary waters and other places.)

Sunrise in Minnesota

But a trip there last week drove home that climate change is fast becoming our reality. Reading about far-off disasters such as the Arctic ice crisis should be shocking but it’s not always. It’s all abstract and far away and you can grow inured to it until you’re numb.

But then last week I was north and east of St. Paul and somebody saw a possum and I took this to be a sign of doom. They are not supposed to be in Minnesota but keep pushing farther north. Scientists in this NPR report said it’s more a sign of human development than global warming, but unchecked sprawl is no less disconcerting. Sprawl ramps up infrastructure, encroachment, and water and energy demands.

But what really freaked me out was the talk of the presence in a lake in nearby Stillwater of the amoeba of death. The amoeba, called Naegleria Fowleri,  is naturally occurring in freshwater all over the world, but reportedly grows when the water temperature exceeds 85 degrees F. I understand it’s in Texas and Florida, but why is water getting that hot in Minnesota?

Maybe I’m being alarmist in these cases but when I watch this video, feeling a little freaked out seems more than appropriate.

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