I know, because I keep reading about it, how “end of days” is supposed to work. This is when the good guys (not me or mine) will go wafting upward to heaven whilst the unshriven and/or non-religious, disbelievers, and the many who believe in “the wrong gods” are left behind in a world of Bad People. Or, at least not good enough to be drawn into heaven.
Eschatology is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the “end of the world” or “end times.” In Judaism, the end times are usually called the “end of days” (aḥarit ha – yamim, אחרית הימים).
If ever we’ve faced a genuine “end of days” for all of humankind — rather than for a specific group of people at who is one of the many current objects of local (but highly effective) genocide, it’s right now. This oncoming “change of climate” is no local holocaust on some “other” continent. This is the one that is going to hit everyone, though not everyone at the same time.
And there will be no gentle ascension into heaven for the praiseworthy and most righteous. To put it in musical terms, one more Tom Lehrer song for those who like a little humor with the “end of the world.”
Now, of course, we don’t expect to do it in one big flash-bang of bombs, though given one thing and another, that’s not entirely out of the picture … but this is still a good summary number.
Me being me, I never expected to go wafting up to heaven but I also didn’t think I would hit my 70s and wonder if the world was going to survive through my granddaughter’s midlife crisis.
Much is made of the U.S.’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, as well as particulate air emission, and plastic in the oceans. Rightfully so. We make major contributions, especially considering our size relative to other areas in the world.
The United States has a big chunk of this, but China’s piece is bigger with the EU, India, and Russia not far behind. Saudi Arabia is doing its best to catch up with the biggest polluters and doing a not half-bad job of it, too.
In point of fact, in all categories of terrible things we are doing to the environment, no one country is doing even the majority of the damage. We may not be able to work together to achieve positive things like peace, but we are very good at working towards unified planetary destruction that can take down every country on this planet, regardless of its location or form of government. Race and religion are immaterial.
When we do bad things — without any forethought or planning — we do a mighty good job of it.
I think most people (at least people who aren’t our government!) recognize something very bad is happening to Earth. It won’t ruin the Earth, mind you. The planet will repair itself. It just needs a few hundred thousand years, but it’ll get the job done.
It is us — people and other mammals — who will pay the price. We will destroy ourselves and all the things we love. Unless we can find some way to do the one, single thing humans have never been good at: COOPERATING. The repercussions of a failure to work together as a species are overwhelming and incontrovertible unless you are the U.S.’s buffoon president — or someone who “reports” on Fox News.
We were doing better at dealing with energy efficiency, though with the changes Trump has made, we’ll need another year of monitoring to see how much his interference has altered our position.
We do surprisingly poorly on deaths from air pollution. Much of the problem is the result of the massive wildfires — which are the result of the heating up of the earth which goes back to greenhouse gases to which most nations are making substantial contributions.
It’s all connected. We are connected.
The World Resources Institute publishes newsletters on various environmental issues and other international issues such as air, food, water, governance, etc. It’s a good place to get summary information on the climate and other world changes.
We are one human species living on a single planet. The planet can survive nicely without us, but we cannot survive without the planet. We not only need a leader with brains in his head and concern for fellow humans living in this world, but we also need an international, united approach to dealing with climate change. That means every country on every continent, regardless of how it is governed or its race, religion, or history.
For probably the first time in our history, we will work together or we will die. Not all at once. As T.S. Eliot put it so elegantly:
This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.
You should watch this. And don’t buy anything from ExxonMobil. Isn’t it great how giant corporations have done and continue to destroy OUR world so they can make an even bigger profit? They already have more money than anyone could possibly spend, but they want it all and the way things are going, they will get it all. And we will be left with the burnt out shell of our green planet earth.
Our mailbox got beat up. Was it whacked by a teenager and a baseball bat or hit by a plow? Since we didn’t see it happen, it’s a guess. What we know it that it got mashed. Not just ours, but our neighbors and other people on the same route. The ground is still pretty hard, making putting in a new post difficult, but the post office refused to deliver mail without a mailbox.
Yet somehow, the mailbox got repaired. Not replaced, but fixed. Along with our neighbor across the street. Owen didn’t do it. I asked and he said no, he hadn’t repaired it, so either the neighbor did a secret repair … or the plow driver took responsibility and did it … or the post office did it … or some stranger did it. We are still going to need to do a proper repair. It’s not an expensive repair, mind you. $20 for a post and another $22 for a post box.
Voila! Ready for mail for at least another decade or two, depending on snowfall, plow, teenagers and garbage trucks who also have been known to back into mailboxes.
I’m betting on the guy across the street and the next time we see him, we’ll have to ask. We aren’t exactly friends, but we aren’t exactly not friends. We are the kind of “over the hedge” friends you become in New England. He gives us extra tomatoes (he grows beautiful tomatoes) and we are always very happy to get them.
We have watched his children grow from little kids to college graduates. I remember when our children (our grandchild, actually) took the same school buses. Time has flown!
And now another summer is lurking a few months in the future. It’s only March so it’s still cold but it will get warmer. Eventually, it will be spring, then summer. Before we have time to blink, winter will be back.
It seems to me the summer is when you race like mad to try and get everything done because there is very little time between the end of winter and winter’s return.
Weather is changing. Autumn is shorter. Summer is shorter and winter lasts longer. There is more rain, more ice, less snow. I don’t know what it means because New England is the kind of environment for erratic weather. Now it’s more erratic, but because it has always been strange. it is more strange, but what does it mean?
I’m sure it means something, but I’m not enough of a scientist to be able to tease the threads apart and make the right deductions. I simply know for the past two years, autumn has gone missing and we’ve had more rain and ice, less snow and more wind than I’ve ever seen. Which for New England IS unusual.
Our weather is weird. In the past decade, we’ve had winters where we are buried in 12 feet (about three meters) of snow next to winters where we don’t get any snow — or so little, we never need to shovel. Or this winter where mostly, it has been so warm with a day or two of cold, then more warm weather. We’ve had the rainiest spring, fall, and winter ever recorded or remembered. It’s pouring right now.
It’s late January — and our dogs are picking up ticks. The ground has not frozen.
Two days ago it was -4 Fahrenheit (-20 Celsius) and today, it’s 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) and it’s pouring rain. Three days ago, we got snow and then freezing rain, winding up with an inch of solid ice on everything. It was like cement. Immovable.
Today is Thursday. It’s warm, raining hard, and blowing a gale. Everything is washing away. Not a bird in sight because the wind is too strong and they dare not fly. The wind is so powerful our 150-foot (46-meter) oak trees are swaying in the wind like grass. Kind of scary because should one of them fall we are underneath the trees. Big trees. Very big.
Germany used to be a cold country. So was Switzerland. Now they get spring and summer before us. Although New England has always had erratic weather patterns, we had seasonal winds and water temperature that was typical year-to-year. We knew where the weather came from and what it meant. Now, we know nothing. The northern storms are not coming down. Our storms are coming up from the south or the west. No more “Montreal Express” to bring down the arctic weather.
How come ticks are alive in January? We’re going to have massive invasions of insects because of how warm it has been through much of what ought to be winter. Parts of our house are damp and beginning to rot from the rain.
We get cold days, but just a day or two at a time. Then, it warms up overnight and it’s sort of spring again. I don’t mind not having icy roads, but I mind not having seasons! I never thought I’d hear myself say it, but I actually miss the snow.
We’ve always been weak on Spring. We used to laugh that we got exactly enough time to race down to the local department store — when we had department stores — and buy a bathing suit between the last snow and the first daffodils.
This year, we also missed Autumn, the one really good season we get around here.
Are we getting climate change? It would appear we are in the middle of it. The winds are not blowing from the same directions they used to. The ocean is too warm. Birds are not migrating. Bears aren’t hibernating.
What is our world doing about it? Not much.
As for the depression that comes with winter darkness, that’s the only thing that hasn’t changed. I write my way through it. I take pictures of birds. It helps.
Writing helps most. It gets dreary in the winter. Dark until well into the morning and dark again long before dinner. We may change the weather, but so far, we have not managed to change the rotation of the earth or how it circles the sun — or tilts towards or away from the burning orb in the middle.
Even among the many who believe in climate change, no one has any idea what to do about it. It’s such a big thing and we are little tiny people living in a damaged world.
It had been warm for most of December and the bulk of January. Warm enough to find myself picking ticks off my dogs. In January when I normally don’t have to worry about ticks and fleas and other noxious bugs in the weeds.
I sprayed them all down with tick poison and ordered collars for all of them. Apparently part of our “new climate” is having to protect the pets from ticks all year round.
There are not supposed to be any bugs — any kind of bugs — in the grass in January. By now, we should have a hard freeze that will last at least a month or longer. Instead, we’ve had a few cold days, then overnight, a warm wind will blow from the south and suddenly, it’s sweater weather.
From the south?
What happened to the cold north wind, referred to by the weathercasters as “the Montreal Express” because it brought bitter winds and snow from our northern neighbor? Canada has been having weather as peculiar as ours. If anyone wants to know about climate change, he or she has but to look out the window.
We are in it.
It’s happening now.
A fellow blogger in Germany has not needed a winter coat until the last couple of days and spring shows up in Switzerland in February.
I don’t know what is going on around here. The birds have stopped migrating. The bears are not hibernating. The ocean is warm inviting sharks and whales to come much closer to shore than they normally do.
We got two days of bitterly cold weather, snow, sleet, and freezing rain on Sunday and Monday. One cold (but not as cold) day on Tuesday and today, it’s 50 degrees (10 Celsius) and it rained away the ice and snow. But not to worry. The temperature is supposed to drop low tonight a freeze and liquid left on the ground.
Our house is damp and parts of it are rotting from too much rain. We’ve had more rain this spring and winter than ever recorded and it’s not over yet.
Is it climate change? Can you think of anything else it could be?
We aren’t supposed to feed the birds. Not the swans or the pretty feathered ones. They are supposed to survive naturally. So I never put a feeder up. And I felt guilty every winter when I saw the poor frozen birds huddled in the bushes in the backyard.
This year, I said “Screw natural. We’ve destroyed their environment. We’ve killed the old forests and burned much of the rest. We’ve poisoned them with weed killer and let our pet cats eat millions of them every year … but we can’t feed them? Nuts to that.”
I decided it was the least I could do.
The latest climate report came out today. Because it’s Black Friday (which Garry called “Racist Friday”) and we are all supposed to be shopping (and no one I know actually was shopping at least partly because there aren’t a lot of places to shop), so maybe we’d miss that the entire report is nothing but bad news.
I wasn’t surprised. It has been pretty obvious that our environment is changing fast. Fires and floods. Spring and fall have gone missing. The bitter cold came too soon with snow in early November. Ocean water is more than 9-inches higher than it was 50 years ago.
There’s less snow in the mountains, so the drought in the west is probably permanent. It gets hotter and stays hotter longer each year and sooner rather than later, the crops will start to suffer. I think no matter how hard they try to manipulate the DNA for seeds, when it gets hot and stays hot, and doesn’t rain … the crops will fail.
People will die from the heat, die from lack of water. Eventually, people will also die from hunger. Rich people will survive longer, but sooner or later, the climate will get us all. Unless we go back to doing sensible things to deal with it. We can do it, but it’s not something any of us can do individually.
This needs to be a regional and national effort. This is why we have governments. They are supposed to care for us. It’s why we pay them money. I don’t think the idea was that we should pay them money so they can buy bigger private planes.
We need to get the big Orange Fool out of the White House and start taking care of our planet. While we can.
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