From DON SANDERSON
July 2, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California
George Was Right!
On June 22, Sonja Sharp reported on Mother Jones that the far northern Siberian town Oymyakon was undergoing an unprecedented heat wave. The previous day temperatures were recorded at just under 32 C, or nearly 90 degrees F (32.6 C is the highest ever recorded temperature), with weekend temperatures in the high 80s. This past winter, temperatures twice dropped to -60.2 C, or nearly -86 F, marking one of the coldest winters the village of once-nomadic reindeer herders has suffered in nearly a century.
At the moment, we appear to be experiencing a duel between a cool sun and a warming atmosphere. The sun has been warming, with short respites, for millions of years, as astrophysicists assure us it will continue to do. So, I know how I’m betting.
I often wonder why I’m bothering to write these, especially given the doubts I have that we humans can get our heads out of pails filled with meaningless distractions. Oh, my, Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died, as headlines informed us. I’m sure this caused distress for some. How many others died as they did? Do you know of any who haven’t or won’t? How many will die if we cook the Earth? How many will die if we exhaust the Earth’s productive soils and fresh water, as we are doing, and food production collapses.
Let’s not talk about such depressing things, it is too distressing. Let’s leave it to the experts to save us, those engineers who created all those wonderful electronic devices that we must have. Let’s go shopping, which is always fun.
Funny thing, I’m unafraid to look these concerns and the pending failure of the capitalist economy in the face, and I’m still the happiest I’ve ever been as I live in the moment. It is a astoundingly beautiful world, perpetually wondrous, perpetually changing. I don’t mean here the world of the big box stores, fast food outlets, and filling stations, indistinguishable wherever found in the country and increasingly the world. I’m speaking of, for example, a tree in my backyard.
Every leaf on that tree is unique as even a simple examination will discover; it never existed previously and shall never again. No two trees, no two blades of grass, no two sparrows are identical, even to themselves moment to moment. Everywhere in the natural world, I see such uniqueness, such amazing beauty and complexity, trillions of cells working cooperatively. Who could be bored, if they are aware? I am in such awe and so thankful of having had the opportunity to have such experiences.
My overwhelming concern is that we may destroy these gifts. In fact, all over the Earth we are doing so – in order to construct, duplicate, more cars, more televisions, more computers, more fashionable clothing, and more “educated” children who can plug into the corporate workplace. All of these soon become old and new better products are ever coming that we must have. I find this so sad, as I hope you do. Keep reading→