A year ago today, we were in the midst of getting ferociously snowed on. Starting late tomorrow we're forecast to get a bunch of rain. Forty years ago today, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank near Whitefish Bay in the midst of a storm on Lake Superior. The Armistice Day blizzard, seventy-five years ago tomorrow, killed almost 150 people. More recently, the 1991 Halloween blizzard was another clear example of the gales of November coming early.
November 6, 2013 snowfall
Photo by J. Harrington
Much of what I've read about the effects of global warming on the weather notes that storms will be more intense. Future Novembers hold the prospect of being very interesting, and dangerous, if past events are a baseline for intensity and volatility. Now, while we're enjoying today's sunshine and relative warmth, imagine if either of the recent train derailments in Wisconsin had occurred in the midst of any one of those historical storms. Cleanup and restoration of rail service would be even more challenging. Depending on the weather, environmental cleanup might not even be possible. Would you care to speculate why today's politicians behave as if they've successfully repealed Murphy's Law? There's limited concern expressed about acute disasters like oil train explosions in heavily populated areas. Less so, by quite a bit it seems to me, regarding chronic issues such as elevated mercury levels in a high percentage of children in the St. Louis River watershed. Then, when I look at the field of Republican presidential candidates, I'm willing to confirm the Murphy was an optimist. The more I consider who we elect theses days, and what they do to us after election, the more I find Homo sapiens to be a notable misnomer. Or, are we actually smart but just unlucky? I grew up in a neighborhood that firmly believed "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." After the next election, will we end up ashamed of ourselves? How will we know?
The New Optimism
The recital of the new optimismwas oft interrupted, rudenessin the ramparts, an injured raventhat needed attendance, pre-opnudity. The young who knew everythingwas new made babies who unforeseeablywould one day present their complaint.Enough blame to go around but the newoptimism didn’t stop, helped onepick up a brush, another a spatulaeven as the last polar bear saton his shrinking berg thinking,I have been vicious but my soul is pure.And the new optimism loves the bear’ssoul and makes images of it to sellat fair-trade craft fairs with laboriouslyknotted hunks of rope, photos of cheese,soaps with odd ingredients, whiskey,sand, hamburger drippings, lint,any and everything partaking of the glowingexfoliating cleanup. And the sealis sponged of oil spill. And the brokenman is wheeled in a meal. War finallyseems stupid enough. You look an animalin the eye before eating it and the gloomyweather makes the lilacs grow. Hello,oceans of air. Your dead cat loves youforever and will welcome you forever home.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.