Sunday, March 8, 2015

Seasons change: Yes! Climate Change: NO!

First of all, I hope you are are aware that today is International Women's Day.

Second, here are today's shades of green:
Third, Spring continues to encroach on Minnesota. Hurray!

snow melt flowing from the roof
snow melt flowing from the roof
Photo by J. Harrington

We return you now to our regular programming.

Years ago I encountered the saying "No amount of planning will ever replace dumb luck." At the time, I was a planner focused on regional land use and infrastructure. I simultaneously took umbrage with it and recognized the truth of it. It left me, as it leaves each of us, with the question of whether I'd rather rely on planning, dumb luck, or all of the above. With that question in mind, I want to direct your attention to the fact that theguardian is publishing a series on climate change. I find that their coverage of what's happing in the United States is often more reliable than any of our mainstream news channels. The series starts with their explanation of why, and then continues with two exercpts from Naomi Klein's recent book This Changes Everything. Links follow:
There'll be more to follow. Here's what the paper has to say about the series:
"...please read what we write. Real change can only follow from citizens informing themselves and applying pressure. To quote [Bill] McKibben: “This fight, as it took me too long to figure out, was never going to be settled on the grounds of justice or reason. We won the argument, but that didn’t matter: like most fights it was, and is, about power.”"
I'm posting the links as I have because My Minnesota worries more and more that the response to the threats posed by climate change will be too little, too late, both by the State of Minnesota, the rest of the country, and the rest of the world. It seems we all need to work together for any hope of even a tolerable climate. Even China, especially China, is realizing that economic growth needs to be balanced with other considerations, like the environment. Furthermore, if we're going to keep average warming to only 2C,  about 80% of the proven fossil fuel reserves will need to be left in the ground. Good luck to us!

Then and Now

By Babette Deutsch 

Then was the grown-up world of tall decision,
Its beauty of late nights denied a child;
World of bewildering gifts, and strange derision,
Alien alike whether it frowned or smiled,
Yet your least wish was governed by its laws.
The landscape and the weather both were odd,
Exploding with effects that hid a cause
Serene and lonely as the Will of God.
Recall it: peopled by an august race,
Immune to the passions that attack the young,
And knowing all. There every commonplace
Must be translated from a marvellous tongue.

Now is the world of grandeur dwindled, shrunk
To what the stupidest can understand.
The shabby treasures of an exile’s trunk
Include no passport to that wonderland,
Though you are told you are a citizen.
The scenery is changed, the climate dull;
The fateful masks are faces, gods are men;
Most nights are long and few are magical.
But there are strangers even here: their speech
Is rich in barbarous mystery, their ways
Are private, who live wholly beyond reach,
Admired and feared, though none of us obeys
Their foreign rule. No dictators, and yet
Strong utterly. While we, with pity wrung
For what they must do, suffer, learn, forget,
Feel shy when we approach them. They are young.


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