Fairy Tales

Fairy tales are stories we tell children and fables politicians spin. Both contain an element of fiction.  The trick is to include a fact or two and weave a new story making up the other bits.  The New York Times reports that more and more people are tuning out.  No, we aren’t missing our shows, we are recording them so we can fast forward through the political spin. 

One of the things I learned as I grew older was to control my reactions to various dumb things I heard or read in the press. If you stand back and don’t take sides, you can find much to amuse you. I know this is hard for most folks as they have strong opinions about this, that and the other, but I’ve been around the block a few times and very few bits of information get me excited anymore.  I’ve become so detached it sometimes worries me.

When I was 18, I thought humans could solve any problem. Now I am not at all convinced humans can solve any problem. The French writer Proust, credited with saying, the more things change the more they remain the same, might have added, the more things change the more problems we uncover, create, etc.

 Having finished Chris Stringer’s Lone Survivors, I am now reading Clive Finlayson’s The Humans Who Went Extinct, How the Neanderthals died out and We Survived. 

Finlayson includes a long passage on geological time, one that should give every reader pause the next time they think about the topic of Climate Change.

Both of these recent books give me a sense of the insignificance of current events relative to the history of human evolution. For example, the French Revolution, which looms large in recent history, the barricades of 1848, the student riots of 1968, all pale in comparison to the eons of change in the past.

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Once upon a time, I thought Al Gore walked on water. I probably felt this way because my Dad disliked him, and I argued with my Dad about anything. I saw Al’s film, read his books and made myself sick worrying about climate change. Then one day, I stumbled across those folks some on the left call “Climate Change Deniers” as if it is heresy to hold a different opinion.  

I believe the climate is warming.  What I question is what humans can do about it?  I think the answer may be “very little.” Adaptation may be the key to survival. 

However, since the horrible air inversions of the 1960s, I have thought we should clean up the atmosphere as best we can, and I support most aspects of the Clean Air Act, for health’s sake..ours and the trees.  It would be a good thing to lower carbon emissions and reduce acid rain.  However, as long as newly industrializing countries ignore this suggestion, and fossil fuel continues to leak from underwater fissures into the oceans, and from the backside of cows into atmosphere, just how much can humans do?  Stop driving? Reducing your intake of beef might help, but milk cows emit methane too.

We have introduced energy-saving devices like crazy into our house, mostly to save on our energy bill. (I have almost bankrupted my self on LED light bulbs.)  Now, I am in the Let Go and Let God mode.  I know this drives some folks nuts, but I am doing the best I can, and that’s all I can do.  I am not going to lose sleep over the subject of climate change.

                                                 ————000————–

The other day, David and I were discussing the Mars Explorer.  Ever since I met him, David has been looking for signs that Martians colonized the earth .  If he had shared his ideas with me before I married him, I might have thought he was nuts.  Now I wonder what else is he not telling me.

I began sharing excerpts from the books I am reading on Paleoanthropology with David (he is an economist and electrical engineer by training and did not understand speiciation until I explained it).  When Discovery, or Explorer or whatever, landed on Mars, I told him, “they aren’t going to find humans came from Mars, you know.  Humans evolved on earth.”

Scientists have made huge leaps in the field of paleoanthropology in the past 20 years. Huge.  I never liked science fiction, but I love science.  I am probably the only person on Earth who never watched Star Trek, although I liked My Favorite Martian and Third Rock from the Sun.  I also like the BBC’s My Hero. I like comedy, and if you can make it funny with alien life forms, great.  The one thing I am sure of is that if we ever encounter real alien life forms, although carbon based, they won’t be related to us or anything else that evolved on this planet and was subjected to climate change.

    

16 thoughts on “Fairy Tales

  1. I’ve never voted a straight Party ticket. I long ago stopped getting worked up over elections, candidates and issues though I can still feel strongly about them — and try to make certain others are aware of factors on both sides that influence my perspective. The time in college debate influences me when we had to present arguments on both sides of an issues — in tournaments switching back and forth several times in one day. Yeah, we’re relatively insignificant in the big picture, but it’s the little seemingly minor things that compose how the big picture forms. I was always rather luke warm on Al Gore, but compared to his opposition the year he ran for President, his star was brighter for me — but more importantly, the difference in issues were significant.

    I’m surely disappointed to learn we didn’t all evolve from Martians settling this Earth — checking in through Stonehenge. But I guess your thorough readings have put to rest that possibility — except for the science fiction writers. I always think it’s interesting the beliefs held to be truths that people live, die, fight and kill each other over are often proven in later generations to be untrue. Always makes me wonder how much of what we believe today will be viewed by generations to come as hogwash and they’ll wonder how we could have been so stupid.

    I agree that more is occurring relative to climate change than just man-made pollutants, and we do need to include eliminating some of them as part of our adaptation process. I do get annoyed about all the time and energy spent arguing the issue that needs to be concentrated on addressing known problems.

    Your cartoon gives new meaning to storytelling time!

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  2. Al, I agree with you. I know that sounds like I agree with everyone but i don’t. I think we all need to do what we can via recycling, etc. to promote good stewardship. What I don’t agree with is government run efforts, unless they are clearly spelled out. The EPA has done many good things, for example, forcing my county to install a better sewage treatment plant, which you would have thought our local Democrat government would have done without prodding. This was a good thing, as our sewage affects the Chesapeake and you know how important that is.
    The EPA was established under a bipartisan Congress and a Republican president.

    On the other hand, in recent years the EPA has overreached and stuck its nose into many things better left alone. I think it has to do with who is in charge in the WH.

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  3. You are so right. In reality there is very little that we can control. My attitude is similar to yours: Trust God and do the best that I can. In my belief system I recognize my best will never be good enough but God’s is and he is faithful.

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  4. It’s a good thing scientists are probing the universe for signs of life. If our descendants somehow destroy planet Earth, they might be able to colonize other planets. Not too far fetched when you think about it.

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  5. Very sensible. But . . . I just read “The World Without Us” by Alan Weisman, and he makes me nervous when he talks about all the plastic floating around the Pacific, and all the nuclear waste sitting there underground. Sure, it doesn’t make much difference in geologic time. But what about the times of our children and grandchildren, and their children?

    In the end you’re right. There’s not a whole lot we can do; but we should do what we can.

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    • Even plastic and nuclear waste disintegrates after several million years. Nevertheless, I agree with you that each of us should make an effort individually to be as green as we can be. I think our combined efforts can makes a difference, and hopefully a positive one.

      I have been “green” all my life owing to my parents who taught me a thing or two about the environment. I hope I am not hysterical on the subject.

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  6. I’ll 2nd what Tilly Bud said and 3rd it too. By the say, Dianne… I did mention your name in my post yesterday about the handrails. We are putting one up although it’s going to take about 3 weeks from start to finish. It’s a lot of work, but I’m really glad we’re going it.

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    • Tilly, sharing the wealth, while a noble idea, is much easier said than done. Unless you go around to every citizen of that country and personally hand them more money, they will rarely see the effect of it. Governments as a whole are too corrupt. Unfortunately, they are made up of politicians. The point is, it’s not up to governments to do this, it’s up to individuals. There are thousands (if not millions) of individuals who give their time, sweat and professional expertise (and by default their money) to help people around the world. They are far and away more effective than our government writing a check.

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  7. Have I ever told you you’re my hero? If we were populated by more people as level-headed and open-minded as you (otherwise know as common sense), we wouldn’t need politicians at all, and especially not a demagogue like Al Gore.

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      • Just to clarify on my comment. My rant against the man-made global warming crowd has nothing to do with my stance on our stewardship of planet earth. I am pro-recycling and doing everything we can to keep it “green and clean.” That is our obligation. But when politicians use fear tactics as a way of adding tax more tax burdens such as “carbon credits” and the “Rube Goldberg” tax proposal: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickferri/2011/05/05/the-rube-goldberg-gas-tax/ to add to their coffers (and thus their power), I take grave exception.

        In typical form, the government NEVER GIVES UP an income source. They only add them. As people drive less in their efforts to save energy (and the planet as Al Gore would tell you) how are they rewarded? The government plans to increase taxes more to make up for the shortfall because people are doing what the government has asked of them. By taxing them now on the miles they drive? Get serious.There will be no end to it.

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