There was a time — and I can remember it — when reading, watching, or listening to news was not depressing. It could be upsetting. It was often exciting. Now, it’s usually depressing mixed with horrifying, demoralizing, and terrifying.
Twice a year, I get a magazine from Cornell Ornithological group to whom I send a small amount of money every month. They are one of the groups trying to salvage our birds. Birds will probably not completely disappear. There will be a few in places where climate change and habitat loss hasn’t destroyed them, but the fabulous array of birdlife we currently have is disappearing.
The list of extinct birds is growing faster than the list of birds increasing. We’ve lot more than 3 BILLION birds since they started counting — about 40 years ago. They’ve gotten more accurate and the news isn’t good. We are losing a million birds annually in North America alone, never mind the rest of the world. At this rate, in another five years we will have fewer than half the birds we have now and many common species will have disappeared.
There are a very few places where conservation efforts are showing a positive effect, but overall, the news is bad. They keep telling us to not get too depressed, to keep doing our best to feed them, count them, do whatever we can to keep them alive, nesting, and growing.
Then there’s National Geographic. You wouldn’t think that would be depressing, would you? At least I can read articles on archaeology without going into a mental slump, but when they talk about animals and how few remain, that there are more plastic statues of flamingos than living flamingos — and by the way, the loons are disappearing from northern lakes because the waters are too warm? I go into another slump that’s even slumpier than the previous slump.
And then there’s the actual news on TV where the lunatic right is trying to turn back the clock to sometime around 1600, except we keep the guns and bombs. I don’t even want to talk about their proposals. They are not merely depressing. If any of these bills were to somehow pass, I think we old folk would quickly die of hunger and disease.
I can’t remember the last time I read or saw anything on the news that was exciting or simply interesting. Everything is threatening. There is no light at the end of the this long dark tunnel. There aren’t even headlights of an oncoming train because the tracks are a mess and trains barely run.
I’m sure that some of my reaction is because my anemia has gotten bad enough to not deliver enough oxygen to my brain. After I get treated (coming soon to a hospital near me!) I might feel livelier.
Will there ever be a light at the end of the tunnel? Will I live to hear we have “turned climate change around”? Or so much as made a dent in it? Short of telling me to have faith in God — that will not cheer me — can anyone offer something in which I can believe that might offer hope? I could really use some positive encouragement. If anyone has some, send it here please.
Meanwhile, enjoy the birds.