A Crash Course in United States Surface and Groundwater Rights

Photo by Jong Marshes on Unsplash

“Who owns the water?” is not a question you may have asked yourself. However, this is not a new question for many, and there is some legal framework, however arbitrary it may be, to address it. Usage and misusage of water upstream can have lasting effects on areas downstream, and as you may imagine, the issues over water rights and ownership in the United States can be extremely contentious. With the effects of climate change continuing, so too will the issues with our water. …


The Growing Cost of Climate Change

Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash

The Making of a Nightmare

In late January of 2019, the jet stream lost control of the polar vortex, bringing previously unseen temperatures and precipitation over most of North America. As warmer air disrupted the frigid arctic air, this massive wave of heavy wind and subzero temperatures leeched south and brought rivers and streams to a standstill while snow proceeded to pile up for months. According to the National Climate Report (a product of NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information), precipitation in the Midwest was 31% above normal, with regional snowfall for the month reaching 4 feet in some areas.

February of that year was…


A Prompted Poem on Resilience

Photo by Nong Vang on Unsplash

what is resilience but rapid recovery
bouncing back full swing after catastrophe

it speaks of longevity with a youthful nature
to be able to restore such majestic grandeur

our planet is resilient in spite of our desires
to bend the very world as a plaything of ours

it will be here when we’re gone
a healing thing as time moves on

if we wish to be along for the ride
we’re going to need to take some strides

we need to be more than resilient
so let’s start with three trillion

new energy and infrastructure to lessen the blow
could also…


Denialism and Dismissal are Getting Tired

Photo by Dustan Woodhouse on Unsplash

Why are we still doing this? Seems the worse the problem gets, the more energy is spent on denying it. As I’m writing this, it strikes me that this situation is a lot like the stages of grief… diluted across the people of the world.

Some of us deny the crisis exists. Some of us feel angry. Some of us try to bargain with others over a compromise in their actions. Some of us are just depressed — feeling alone in the situation. Some of us have accepted the outcome. Of course, some people are in multiple stages at once.


A Prompted Poem on Resistance

Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash

ripped from our home,
they move earth to get rid of us

we exist

they poison us,
bury us under tons of concrete and metal

we resist

biding our time,
we gather our resources

we persist

we break free of our prison,
done with hiding

we desist

we attack from below,
encasing our jailors by surprise

we are nature’s bliss

salvation for life,
damnation for stone

we insist

in the grand scheme of it all,
ours is the story that lasts

we resist

they may try,
but we will always return

we exist

I’ve always loved looking at photos of…


You Continue Running from Your Home

Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash

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Neon blue goop was slobbered all over everything beneath your shin, and you’re pretty sure the envelope gave you a papercut.

The pain was unbearable.

You kick the envelope aside as you attempt to run down the hallway. The jolt sends everything flying but the stuff on your leg.

You catch a glimpse of the envelope landing face-first into the door frame, as the hallway and your apartment seem to spin 230 degrees counter clockwise — your face planting into the adjacent wall.

You grab your nose and…


A Prompted Limerick on Goop

Photo by Adam Deitsch

To strengthen a forest by water,
you’ll need a riparian buffer.
While technically just
a transition of such,
I’m picturing spreadable butter.

While this limerick was directed by the prompt goop from Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她), it was inspired by this brief back-and-forth I had with “@a_gneiss_birb” on Twitter, which starts here:

A riparian forest buffer is a mixed ecosystem bordering a stream. Yes, rivers are streams. If you’re interested in learning more about them, you can start with this page from the Department of Agriculture.

If you’d like to give the goop prompt a go, you can check…


A Prompted Poem on Appreciating the Small Things

Photo by MI PHAM on Unsplash

Take a breath.

It’s not something
we think about
all that often.

The air rushes in.

That cool flow
of our atmosphere
fills our lungs.

25,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules.

About a fifth
of that necessary
for our survival.

Tiny little Oxygen.

Each less than
a nanometer across,
but so important.

Take some time to think.

Appreciate those small,
little things that
run our lives.

Take a breath.

Thanks to Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她) for inviting me to participate in this prompt on appreciating the small things. I decided to talk about things that were very small indeed. A molecule of oxygen gas…


Why I can’t wait to play Dungeons and Dragons

Image by dgim-studio on Freepik

I may have never played it
But the thought makes me fidget
I think it sounds so cool
To fight water monsters in a pool
(Maybe even Lo Mein
Could be their bane)

It sounds awesome as a DM
(Could be me, hem hem)
When I am one
There should be a horse to tame
With only Lo Mein

If I was a player,
I’d probably be a druid
Although not one super rude
Cause he’ll eat Lo Mein
Without any shame

So despite the fact,
That I have never ever played it
This is why I know by all my name
That…


A Haiku of Redemption

Photo by Adam Deitsch

chewie, gushy treat
sticky goodness, good to eat
I love my fruit snacks

I wrote a poem complaining about a flop of a snack that really disappointed me. It was deeply dissatisfying, but I’m going to eat it anyway, because I hate to waste.

These little gems, on the other hand, are a true delight to eat. They could probably use less sugar (because, really, couldn’t everything?), but they are like any number of fruit snacks I had as a child. If candy could trick you into thinking it was healthy, these soft dried cantaloupe and strawberries would do it.

Adam Deitsch

Adam is an Environmental Science student and Climate Speaker. He’s is a contributing author for several Medium publications, and founder of Just The Recipe.

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