In Writing

I have dressed up the blog with its winter look. Now that I’ve taken to playing around with the header, I feel the need to update it more frequently. (It’s been three different things in the last six weeks). I don’t know how long it will keep being amusing, but for now, I am having fun with it.

Although I gave the blog a winter look, it’s really kind of a whiny wannabe spring here in the Northeast. I was in short sleeves on Christmas and the temperature has lingered somewhere in a noncommittal grayness, the days too short and dim to qualify as “nice” but too warm and humid to qualify as “winter.” My plants are thoroughly confused. On my walk in the woods today, I saw all kinds of shrubs budding out with leaves, because they just have no idea what else to do. My peonies lost all their leaves but now have a few green ones. My roses are doing the same. My lavender is in full, lush bloom. If a frost does come, it will kill all of this growth, which I guess makes sense. But if it doesn’t, what then?

The weather is going to hell in a handbasket in Texas, where I’ve spent such good times on my two visits there this year, with tornadoes followed by blizzards in a cataclysm of biblical proportions. A friend in Utah is under two feet of unusually plentiful snow. California is on fire.

So, yeah. I spend a lot of time worrying about the little squabbles of humanity, who said what about whom, whether I sat at the computer to write, what my neighbor did to my bushes. All the while, the very planet that sustains us is changing irrevocably, and cynical interests that care more about squeezing the last of the profit of a dying, destructive business and leaving the next century to pay the price continue to drive us to the brink of destruction. Yes, most of us won’t be around to see the worst of it. But that we fail to act is unconscionable.

Today I played my mom the video of President Obama’s trip with Bear Grylls on the recent “Running Wild” episode he did to bring attention to climate change. (If you haven’t seen it, it’s outstanding, a very humanizing look at a president who seems like he’s itching to get out of office and do some cool stuff. Link below to the whole episode).

At the end of the whole thing, my mom asked, “But what do we do?” It struck me that we wring our hands about the problem but don’t often focus on what each of us can do right now. I remember that when I first watched An Inconvenient Truth, I switched my whole house to CFC bulbs and cut my energy bills in half within a month. I try to be careful, but there’s always more we can do. Here’s a list of 50 things the average person can do right now to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint: click here.

And, of course,  bug the heck out of your representatives to do the right thing. To find your representative’s contact information, enter your zip code here.

Click here for the full President Obama/Bear Grylls Running Wild episode.

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