We recently participated in a day long workshop that was run by one of the top colleges in our state.
Scientists, teachers, and students put together a probable scenario about the climate in our area in the year 2100.
Using statistics from the past 40 years, they were able to project what the climate would be in 2100, and how it would effect our land uses and water needs as the population of our state tripled in numbers.
Let's just say it was not a pretty sight.
The water was disappearing at a rapid rate, and what was around was polluted.
What few farmers there were were growing on polluted land and only the very wealthy could afford their produce.
And the climate - just forget it - we were dying of heat with our extended summers.
We weren't getting the snow cover we do now in the winters which affected the water supply.
The extreme heat affected the water supply also by evaporation.
Many small factors that we don't even think about were being affected too.
We have plentiful maple trees that supply syrup and fall foliage - both big tourist draws to our state which brings in income for many industries.
Those trees had all died off from the heat and the maple tree line was now well into Canada.
The run-offs from the rivers into the ocean had made the environments along the coast incapable of supporting life which affected the availability of food for us and other sea life.
And the list went on.
The whole purpose of this exercise was two-fold.
We were considered a civilian jury and had to all come to an agreement in the end, after much deliberating, which was the most important in the year 2100 - water, climate, or land.
My group chose water, with climate being right on it's heels. We just couldn't convince the last guy that we could eventually adapt to the climate, but we could not go with out water.
My husband's group chose water also with climate second, but not as important as it was to our group.
The results from all the groups will be sent to us in November.
The second part of this exercise was the civilian jury format itself.
This was the first time it was used and they wanted to get the views of the community which could be used to make decisions for the towns and states.
I found the whole workshop to be very interesting in all regards, and was very happy to be selected to participate.
Listening to other's thoughts and everyone working to come to an agreement opens the mind and makes you feel good when it's all finally resolved.
Would I do it again? In a heartbeat - I hope we get the chance!