What Does God Think of Climate Change?

Always supposing you believe climate change is real (and I do), I have a thought experiment for you. If you believe in God, then what do you think God thinks about what we are doing to our planet? I mean, we’re taking this amazing gift, and we’re basically pooping all over it. My guess is she or it or he would be mighty disappointed in us. If I were God, I’d be totally rethinking this whole “free will” thing. Because we are definitely screwing things up.

Or maybe the old testament got it right, and what we have is a vengeful, fear-inducing God. If that’s the case, then climate change is some form of punishment, and we better start paying attention. The time for basking in our blissful ignorance is long past.

Here’s an even bigger thought experiment for you: Even if you don’t believe in God and/or climate change, please explain to me why it doesn’t make sense to live a green and clean life? What are the disadvantages?

If our actions just boil down to laziness, selfishness, greed and a basic resistance to change, then God doesn’t even need to be in this equation. We should all be disappointed in ourselves.

climate change

What Price Patriotism?

As I write this, the Blue Angels are roaring past my bridge, making the windows rattle. I must admit that it’s a spectacular show. If you haven’t seen these Navy fighter jets perform, you may as well. You are paying for them. We all are, in one way or another.

According to this article, these jets cost US taxpayers 35,577,000 dollars a year. That’s quite a bit of cash just to promote the US Navy and make us all feel proud to be Americans. Imagine what an impact that would have on the homelessness or hunger or public education crises in this country.

And let’s not overlook the other, less visible impacts. The approximately 8000 gallons of jet fuel burned during a typical Blue Angels show is creating quite the carbon footprint. And there’s no easy way to calculate how much extra fuel each car in the area has to burn because it has to detour or idle due to traffic snarls caused by these shows. And then there’s the increase in boat traffic as vessels compete for the best view. The noise pollution alone is off the charts, and don’t forget the garbage produced by the crowds. And then there are the terrified pets, and the anxiety suffered by people with PTSD.

I’m not saying that Americans need to live lives of extreme austerity. I just happen to think there are other ways we could celebrate that don’t come with such a high price tag.

http _upload.wikimedia.org_wikipedia_commons_8_81_Blue_Angels_on_Delta_Formation

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Nature Doesn’t Clash

I have a friend who is an artist, and when choosing his color palette for any given creation, he looks to nature for inspiration. He’ll take a leaf or a flower petal, for example, and put it under a microscope, and then use the colors he sees there. I think that’s a brilliant idea.

If you want the ultimate arbiter of good taste, nature is it. First of all, it’s been around a heck of a lot longer than we have. It knows how to play the game. It doesn’t like short-term trends. I can’t think of even one example of a natural thing that irritates my sensibilities. I definitely can’t say that about humans on an average day. (Nature wouldn’t be caught dead in sandals with knee socks.)

Nature also doesn’t wage war, shut down the government for selfish reasons, or pollute itself in the name of greed. It sees no need for firearms. If anyone were to support health care for all, it would be nature.

While nature can seem arbitrarily cruel, it definitely looks at the big picture and the long term. These are qualities that modern man seems to lack, to our everlasting peril. The more we ignore nature’s warnings, the more we will suffer. Nature is patient. Nature will win. The question is, will we be around to see it?

Painted Hills Oregon
Painted Hills, Oregon

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Water Clarity

The other day I wrote Epiphanies of the Obvious, and today I had one. I was looking at an artist’s rendering of some sort of ocean-based dinosaur, and I noticed that the water was crystal clear. And then I thought, “Yes, I bet the water was crystal clear for the dinosaurs. We weren’t around to eff it up yet.”

Yeah, I know. That’s obvious. But I swear to you that it was the first time I had really thought of this on a grand, all encompassing scale. Pollution is us. It’s all because of us. Those islands of floating plastic in the middle of the Pacific weren’t caused by the lions and tigers and bears. Oh, my.

The PCBs and the Mercury and all the other nastiness in the food chain, that’s us. The deformed fish? Us. Oil spills? Us, us, us. No other creature on the planet is even 1/10th as destructive. And yet we think we’re superior.

And in that superiority, we’ve given ourselves a free pass to avoid taking any sort of responsibility for our actions. Many of us even try to push legislation to sidestep cleaning up after ourselves. Many others refuse to even see that there’s a problem.

That meteor that wiped out all the dinosaurs may have been the worst thing that could have happened to this planet. But I say that only because it paved the way for us and the selfish choices that we make. Shame on us.

mosasaur__from_armasaurios_collection__2011__by_augustopatino-d8uc6p6

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The Septic Tank Guy

Once every two weeks, a guy comes to the bridge to pump out our septic tank. I hope he’s paid well. That’s one disgusting job.

No matter how evolved we would like to think we are, there’s no getting around the fact that we are biological beings, and somewhere, every minute of the day, some poor schmuck is dealing with our feces. Think about it. Every time you flush the toilet, you are propping up a huge sector of the economy. Plumbers, treatment plant operators, septic tank guys, the entire port-a-potty industry, toilet paper, cleaning supply and bathroom fixture companies, those charged with monitoring and cleaning up our polluted rivers and streams, medical personnel who treat all the various diseases brought on by bad sanitation, even the bad comedians who thrive on poop jokes.

Everybody’s got to make a living. But I think I’d have a hard time finding job satisfaction as a septic tank guy. Granted, you’re providing a very valuable and important service, but come on. Imagine having to spend your every working moment dealing with other people’s sh**.

Well, come to think of it, a lot of us do that anyway, don’t we?

Calvin

Inclusion

Yet another reason to love Seattle. I just read in this article that they’ve unveiled several rainbow crosswalks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, and they will last long after this year’s Pride festivities are over and done with. And then the Supreme Court ruled that same sex marriage is legal nationwide. That’s the best thing to come out of the Supreme Court in many years.

Whether you approve of homosexuality or not (And frankly, you approval isn’t asked for or required. It would be like asking if you approve of someone’s eye color.), these developments are good for everyone. Here’s why:

Anyone who has survived past 6th grade knows what it’s like to be excluded, isolated, treated like you are an outsider. Everyone has experienced that pain. Because of this, I will never understand people whose moral or political policy is one of exclusion.

We don’t have to agree with people to accept them for who they are. They should not need some sort of inspection stamp to allow them to be included in the human race, with all the rights and privileges thereof. Forcing anyone into the realm of pain and isolation lacerates the very fabric of society.

As long as someone isn’t doing you any physical harm, why would you want to perpetuate negative energy? Why not allow everyone to feel welcome, included, and even embraced by the communities of which they are a vital part? How hard is that? There can never be too much love in the world.

If you hate certain groups, or feel they should be treated less decently than others, you may want to take a long, hard look at yourself and consider what pollution you are putting out in the world. Because the funny thing about pollution is that it doesn’t discriminate. Sooner or later it affects us all.

[Image credit: capitolhillseattle.com]
[Image credit: capitolhillseattle.com]

Have we Overstayed our Welcome?

Aw, jeez, I need to stop surfing the internet. I just came across a website called Recent Natural Disasters, and it gives you all the reported disasters all over the world, 24 hours a day. I have a hard enough time avoiding my tendency to anthropomorphize nature, especially when it seems as though the planet is becoming more and more pissed off.

Typhoon Haiyan has certainly displaced thousands of people, but it’s only the latest in what seems to be an increasing number of natural disasters, from the expected to the downright bizarre. I mean, who expects flooding in Saudi Arabia? But that’s been happening, too.

And I’m stunned by how many of these events have escaped my notice up to this point. Here are but a few of the headlines from the past few months:

Massive landslide in Denali National Park, Alaska – Could take 10 days to clear

Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung volcano eruption prompts evacuation of 3,300

Mudslide traps 20 in Cross Rivers, Nigeria

Very severe cyclonic storm Phailin: India’s biggest evacuation operation in 23 years, 43 killed

Eurasia’s highest volcano Klyuchevskoi spews ash up to 3.7 miles

40,000 evacuated amid Gujarat flooding

7.7 magnitude earthquake in Pakistan kills 400, Awaran declares emergency

Flooding in Bunkpurugu, Ghana kills 1, displaces 6,000

Shanghai heat wave 2013: Hottest temperature in 140 years!

Spanish Mallorca forest fire: Worst fire in 15 years evacuates 700

Namibia African Drought: Worst in 30 years

Yarnell, Arizona Wildfire 2013: 19 firefighters killed

Central African Republic gold mine collapse kills 37, national mourning declared

Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand flood 2013: At least 5,500 killed

Colorado wildfires destroy 360 plus homes, 38,000 evacuated

Whether you believe in Global Climate Change or not, don’t you sometimes get the feeling that we as a species are no longer wanted on this planet? And if so, who could blame Mother Nature? I mean, we take and take and take, and what we give in return is pollution, destruction, and devastation. If a guest in my home were behaving this badly, I’d kick him out, too.

eruption