Saturday, January 3, 2015

Just chillin', or somethin'

Back when I was eleven or twelve years old, a noteworthy hurricane hit Massachusetts where I then lived. I'm sure the effects of hurricanes, though infrequent, were a source of worry and inconvenience for my parents. I also remember, vaguely, that flooded roads and flooding streams and downed trees and ..., offered a great opportunity for adventure to a preteen male interested in nature and the outdoors. Memories of those days have been triggered while reading a book I recently bought on sale at my "local" book store in Cambridge. Diane Ackerman's The Human Age has been on my "think about reading" list for some time (see "on sale"). In the first few chapters, she mentions, et al., Katrina, Sandy, Tohoku and other weather disasters the world has suffered during the past few years. As of today, we know California's drought is affecting crops and idling workers. Last year we, and much of the rest of North America, froze our *#%$s off with the Polar Vortex. Starting tomorrow we're about to experience a micro vortex? And in the face of all of this, this past November as a nation we're about put a climate denier extraordinaire in charge of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. What the hell is the matter with us? Have we no sense whatsoever?

chickadee puffed up against Winter's cold
chickadee puffed up against Winter's cold
Photo by J. Harrington

If I lived on either coast, I'd probably be trying to form the liberal equivalent of the tea party in hopes of keeping my home from being washed out to sea. (I come from where they really know how to do that kind of stuff.) It's too late for many of those in New York and New Jersey already flooded by Sandy. A similar, but worse, fate is befalling the Yup'ik Eskimos in the village of Newtok. It makes me realize that facing a week's worth of subzero temperatures is a relatively mild problem by comparison. (pun intended) All in all, Minnesota is in a proportionately safe location when considering the effects of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption (aka climate change or global warming). Plus, look at all the jobs and taxes we'll be able to benefit from if the Sandpiper or other oil pipelines are allowed to proceed. What could possibly go wrong? Right? Right?

Much Madness is divinest Sense - (620)

By Emily Dickinson 

Much Madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much Sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the Majority
In this, as all, prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -

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