following essay was produced as part of my 2013 effort for the
November National Novel Writing Month effort. As such, please
understand that while I did give it a quick review, it has not
gone through the same proofreading and editing I normally try
to give all of the material posted on this site.
always make some mistakes. There are errors to be found throughout
this web site, and many exist despite dozens of attempts to correct
problems. That said, ask that you approach this material in the
spirit intended – a basic thought, slightly worked out and very
informally researched, delivered in the hopes of writing more
than 50,000 words by the end of November.
~ ~ ~
essay promises to be two things… disorganized and long.
for that, I apologize.
thing is, I heard something last night, and I don’t know where
to take it, though I have fourteen thousand thoughts colliding
in an attempt to form some realistic and appropriate response.
don’t have a beginning… a middle… or even an end. I don’t have
time or research, or design a map for myself to get from one point
to the next.
I intended to break it up into three columns. That’s the reason
for referring to this as part one… and, subsequently, the reason
I’m not really revealing what it was that I heard.
the end result comes together and works. We shall see. Let’s get
~ ~ ~
don’t believe the global warming hype.
ok… settle down. This is going to be a long ride. Stick with me
and at least give me a chance to explain.
did not say I don’t believe in global warming. And I most certainly
didn’t say that we don’t need to treat the planet better.
I said is that I don’t believe the hype. And that is significantly…
albeit in many ways just marginally… different.
tossing some mud against the side of the barn… let’s see what
number one: The Dodo and The Polar Bear
of my favorite books of all time is Last Chance to See
by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.
this book and read it. It’s brilliant. Also, Douglas passed away
in 2001. A few years ago… as a twentieth anniversary kind of effort…
Stephen Fry joined up with Mark to make a television series that
revisited some of the animals from the first book, along with
a couple of new adventures. The show is phenomenal and I highly
recommend it. If you do find either the book or the show, it will
quite likely change your life and increase your appreciation for
the planet. I promise you… amazing stuff.)
not sure if I’ve ever shared my theory about man and his place
in the world. Here it is -- I would like to think that, in some
way, the planet is a better place because I’m around. I would
hate to find that it’s worse because of me.
don’t need to hear about polar bears to know that man treats this
planet horrendously. All I need to do is walk along the streets
near my home, take a look at the ground, and see all of the trash
do appreciate climate change and global warming and increasing
dangers do exist. I recognize that things are getting worse, and
the efforts of man are beyond significantly contributing to these
here’s the thing… quite often, I’m scared by the people that say
we must act now, and so very often rush in without thought or
you read (or watch) Last Chance to See, you will experience
an incredible and eye-opening journey to the far reaches of Earth.
These efforts make you care about your place in the larger picture.
It’s a truly magical journey.
when people start presenting numbers and graphs and slideshows,
quite often I don’t get the feeling that they understand the whole.
Maybe the best explanation is that I seem to get the sense that
they feel the urgency to do something, but often don’t appreciate
the realities of what they are proposing to do.
a sky is falling mentality of sorts, and the problem is that the
do-gooders believe they have a good idea, but don’t know have
the slightest consideration of what the repercussions of their
idea might be. As an example…
1972, two million tires… that’s 2,000,000 tires… two-comma-zero-zero-zero-comma-zero-zero-zero
tires… were dumped
in the waters about a mile away from Fort
was supposed to be one of the ultimate win-win scenarios. We get
rid of those pesky tires that just aren’t that easy to get rid
of, and the fish get a playground to enjoy.
out… no… not so much.
fish don’t like the tires. Not much has grown on or near them.
they were dumped with wires to hold them in place. The wires have
broken… and tires are scattering about, often resulting in tires
damaging reefs and rolling up on beaches.
become an ultimate lose-lose, with honestly nothing good to be
found except… maybe, if you stretch the idea a tremendous amount
to look for anything at all even remotely positive… for
the training provided to the people involved in the cleanup.
thing though… almost universally, people still believe that the
intentions of those that organized and carried out the tire dump
project were good intentions. They simply didn’t have all the
information… they didn’t know what the reaction would be to their
actions. (And if they had, Goodyear likely wouldn’t have sent
a blimp down to drop a tire in celebration.)
educate me. Show me how my actions are harming the environment
and animal life, and I’m listening. I want to know how I can do
better. I really do.
with poison ivy. I hate poison ivy. We can all do without the
you present an article saying that it hasn’t been this warm in
2,000-years, without saying what caused those rising temperatures
two millennia ago, all I can think about is the awful cars and
horrendous factories that must have been causing the damage back
articles explain the dinosaurs and other life from millions of
years ago, it leads me to believe that nature will go on. Because
it’s not a question of the animals facing extinction that is the
real scary thorn in all of this… it’s the continued survival of
man that is frightening.
like polar bears. I think I’d kind of enjoy seeing a dodo. I was
actually sad and a bit scared to learn about the fate of the Yangtze
river dolphin (studied in Last Chance to See, and now
if not truly extinct, it is believed that any remaining would
not be able to revive the numbers of the species). I don’t like
thinking of extinction on any level.
I collect that trash near my driveway. I sort it and recycle it.
I try to grow grass and plants without using massive amount of
chemicals. I try to keep my area of the world clean and well-tended.
that isn’t about global warming. That’s about responsibility.
That’s about trying to leave things, if not better than they were
before I arrived, at least as good while I’m here.
two: Cell Phones and Space Travel
you noticed the promise of everything being wireless lately?
how… HOW can this be good for us?
are now pads you can place something on to recharge the batteries.
what I know of this, and I know very little, seems to refer to
inductive charging. And the whole thing sounds really exciting,
and, when you begin to consider things like pacemakers and other
devices that could be built around wireless charging possibilities,
it all sounds fascinating and potentially beneficial.
thing is… have you noticed home much stuff we’re putting in the
I was younger, we didn’t have keyless remotes to open our car
doors… we didn’t have a wireless mouse in our home, or even a
computer to use the mouse with.
was basically portable radios, and that’s about it.
headsets for our music and video games can work without wires.
Cell phones. The computer utilizes… oh geez… WiFi everything.
you see what I mean. Everything seems to either have
wireless capabilities, or, someone is working on making it wireless.
this another tires-in-the-ocean though? When you go in for an
x-ray, they cover you up with all sorts of protection. When your
router doesn’t provide a signal strong enough to get to the television
in a different room, you work on finding the right range extender
for that unseen signal floating around your home and, in essence,
boost the power.
yet… so they say… none of this is harmful.
the risk of cutting this essay short, we need to move over toward
Jurassic Park for a moment.
upsets me about global warming is this…
Hammond: I don’t think you're giving us our due credit.
Our scientists have done things which nobody’s ever done before…
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, yeah, but your scientists
were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they
didn’t stop to think if they should.
not certain if any of this has made much sense. I don’t know if
it has truly expressed my feelings on certain subjects. All I
can honestly hope is that it’s made you want to get a copy of
Last Chance to See to read, or nudged you to look around
so you can find the show to watch.
going to head outside and pick up some trash… place some stuff
in the recycling bins… and hug my dogs. Tomorrow I hope to marvel
at the beauty of a gorgeous sun-filled morning. And later, perhaps
another day, I will get to some parks, see the wonders we are
surrounded by, and try to appreciate it all.
the end, the planet is a very special and magical place. And I
would like for it to be a better place because I’m around.