Top Ten Signs of Climate Change


1. My father tells a story of a severe winter that lingered through March: The earth shook; my cousin was swept away by a tidal wave. That winter, my father dug up a frozen sewer main by hand to unthaw it. Fishermen had a good salmon catch that year.

2. I inhale too many mosquitoes now.

3. The salmonberries are rotten from the sun.

4. The thimbleberries are rotten from the torrential rain.

5. My father goes out trolling and doesn’t catch a salmon. My father goes out trolling again and doesn’t catch a salmon.

6. We don’t eat shelled sea creatures: no crab, no cockles, no clams or geoducks. We know better.—Alexandrium species, Pseudo-nitzschia species, Dinophysis species.

7. My sister’s ex-sister-in-law is shot to death along with her teenage daughter and niece by my ex-husband’s new girlfriend’s ex-husband. He murdered them and then shot himself—and caused a heat sink scenario; the water bodies at the terminus acted as thermal energy and Shakes Glacier began to retreat.

8. My father tells the story of working in the sawmill, of working at the Forest Service, of fishing for winter kings. He stares out the window of our fish camp, at the 50-degree ocean, and imagines another story.

9. Legend says my children’s ancestors traveled over ice. My own ancestors migrated over ice across Scandinavia after the Wind Man cleared a path with a shovel. I think about this legend. I invent words for our new oral tradition: neoglacialgenic, defishification, griefologic cycle.

10. My normothermia is 101.6 degrees.