Monday, January 22, 2007

The Long Road Home

I had a long drive on Sunday. Two-hundred miles roundtrip. Long for me because I hardly ever venture out past the tidal estuary, or our small town limits. But I made the journey and arrived home safely, listening to Air America on a Sunday afternoon. I was treated to quite an interesting discussion on an environmental show. Activists/writers who have been working for a decade to wake the country up to the horrors of global climate change offered their opinion that "critical mass" in consciousness of the problem has been reached. They believe that people are beginning to understand that our planet's weather patterns really are changing and we may in no small part be responsible for it. It was quite a hopeful discussion. Bill McKibben was being interviewed, and I had not heard of him before, so I googled his name and found this quote from his book "The End of Nature"

...Our comforting sense of the permanence of our natural world, our confidence that it will change gradually and imperceptibly if at all, is the result of a subtly warped perspective. Changes that can affect us can happen in our lifetime in our world--not just changes like wars but bigger and more sweeping events. I believe that without recognizing it we have already stepped over the threshold of such a change; that we are at the end of nature. By the end of nature I do not mean the end of the world. The rain will still fall and the sun shine, though differently than before. When I say 'nature,' I mean a certain set of human ideas about the world and our place in it." The End of Nature, p. 7

I felt lucky to have such an engrossing conversation to listen to while the road home stretched before me. Have we reached critical mass? I don't know. Are people willing to put up with economic displacement, inconvenience, or lose their personal fortunes for the greater good? I don't know. Are we about to escalate a war for oil?

Here at home, I put out a lot of food for the birds after the second unusually significant snow fell last week. This Stellar's Jay found something he must have really liked after the snow melted. He took a hungry mouthful.

There may be very light to non-existent posting here this week. A little down time--some rejuvenation, regeneration, renewal. Hard to imagine we won't have something to say (scream) after the president's State of the Union on Tuesday. But the sky is staying light until 5:00 pm these days, and it was warm enough on Saturday to pull a few weeds. We've got a yard full of work calling to us.

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