On blogging.

This time of year usually inspires reflection.  A check of the calendar shows that I’ve been standing on my orange crate bullhorning into the void for about 10 months. I set a minimum expectation of one blog post by Thursday each week and yes, I am behind this week.

And blogging writing. I love this quote by Joan Didion, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” And I think, well, me too. Run with me!

What I’m thinking.

Ah! There’s the rub. The quality of writing is directly correlated to the quality of thought. The practice of writing makes good writing possible; great writing at it’s foundation has not pen and paper or screen and mouse and keyboard, but thought. And this for me is always, always the challenge — to improve the thought, improve the communication. Words can be found. The exactness, the preciseness of the word, the nuance — that is what requires thought.

And I sit with that and I’m pretty sure greatness is overrated. Heh, heh.

What I’m looking at.

Originally, in early 2017 I was looking at the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and I wanted a place to drop my notes, research, and thoughts and prayers summary of the protest and concerns for possible outcomes.

That hasn’t happened yet.

My notes and research on DAPL are somewhere, since I started blogging there has been another spill, and it was announced that the pipeline will be finished soon.  I’m pretty sure I’ll get on it.

I’m often surprised to find that what I’m actually looking at and choose to publish isn’t what has been under my microscope. When I look through draft posts with ideas that were current at the time, I push ‘publish’ on something from the periphery. As an example, I had just finished Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City when the Hurricane triplets Harvey, Irma, and Maria visited eviction on great swaths of population independent of their poverty or wealth.  Instead of a commentary on eviction as living in a steady state of hurricane uncertainty, I dropped some climate change ideas. Go figure.

What I see and what it means.

The immediacy of the internet has made reporters of us all. And the professionals — the trained journalists and reporters and publications that try to beat the immediacy of ‘now’ — try to get the facts straight and think and form opinions on the fly. By reference to current news sources and writing about current events, I appreciate how hard it is to locate the truth. Any truth. Statements have to be researched, sources need to be verified and I appreciate that professionals deliver news in a race for your attention and in competition with click-bait.

And what it means is that I have the luxury of time to consider an event, to turn it over and look under the hood, to discuss with others what things mean. And to weigh in with my bullhorn after-the-fact and not in-the-midst-of and during.

What I want and what I fear.

What I want is to read and to be read!

And what I fear? Technology and that big blue ‘publish’ button up and to the right means there is no editor, there is no traditional publisher, there is no one between you and me. There is no one to save me from myself.  My thinking could be off. And very public.

What was I thinking? I stand on this little orange crate with my bullhorn. I might spout strong yet wrong ideas and slide off into the margins like the itinerant repent-the-end-of-the-world-is-coming preacher or other interesting and startling orange crate peers.

Or maybe my orange crate and bullhorn, reporting from my little space off in this section of the bleacher seats is just homage to my love of mixed metaphor and play on words.

I know that very time I click the ‘publish’ button and release a post, any post, this post into the internet wild, I win.

I think. I look. I find meaning. I write. I want. I overcame fear.

And dear readers, you have my love and gratitude for reading me thus far.

Thank you!

I win.

 

Hmmm, Part III. Ch-ch-ch-changes.

Climate model changes. Well, this is good news.¹

Or not.²

It seems a group of scientists have found more time in their studies for humans to respond to global warming/climate change.

Hmmm, really?  For your consideration, I’m going to drop some thoughts, ponderances, and questions on global climate change and science here:

  • The recent discovery that Mars has unexpected weather.³ The nights are cold, cold, cold. While this information might ‘help future explorers colonizing the planet’, may I suggest that it could be useful in understanding the colonization we have on Earth already?

“It’s a bit like a Russian doll,” planetary scientist Paul Hayne from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who wasn’t involved with the study, told Nature, “with each successively higher-resolution model fitting inside the other.”³

I like this quote. It illustrates that climate scientists have a very difficult job. Peeling away the layers, uncovering the next doll. They are working with a very complex system and small changes in modeling, make measurable differences in projected results.

  • I’m totally gobsmacked when I read ” … we have more than 700 billion tons left to emit to keep warming within 1.5°C. ‘That’s about 20 years at present-day emissions,’ Millar said.” ¹

Well, hold the phone even though it’s ringing, statements like this released into the wild give us permission to continue bad habits that harm the environment. My individual contribution to 700 billion tons is just puny. I could jump up and down on that scale and it wouldn’t register so not my fault, right?²

I’ll be as cold, cold, cold as Mars at night here, but human life on earth may be a passing age regardless of any action we take. Regardless of any scientists, politicians, soothsayers, sooth-nay-sayers, we may all be doomed regardless of any action we take.

As evidence, the K-Pg event which sounds like a children’s show was actually a cosmic collision of the earth with an asteroid or comet. It extincted the dinosaurs.  “In the geologic record, the K-Pg event is marked by a thin layer of sediment.” Whoa! Big dinosaurs time left a geologic thin layer. Humans en masse? A geologic smudgy smear. Maybe. Who will know?

So regardless, let’s do the right thing.  Governments will argue, politicians will posture, manufacturers will whine about fairness, et cetera et al ad nauseum.

Let’s bring back “pollution”, the word, not actual pollution. Individuals can identify pollution and change pollutive habits and consumption. Personal actions and changes done by the millions have a HUGE measurable impact on the environment. (See also, plastic continent at the bottom of the ocean.)

And as we start environmentally hygienic habits and start trends designed to leave a smaller footprint, we unwittingly become consumer activists. (See also Hmmm, Part II. Remeber the Aerosol!) Rather than wait for government regulation and limits, dirty manufacturing cleans up due to market demand, clean-up happens because consumers require it.

And we remain the enthusiastically skeptic gardener.


¹Mooney, Chris. “New climate change calculations could buy the Earth some time — if they’re right.” Washington Post. 18 September 2017. Web. 19 September 2017

²Viva Nostradamus predicts that any time humans have gained by this news is just another distraction for politicians, governments, businesses, et al to argue about cause, effect and blame.  So, if you’ve read this far, just do what you can do today.  Stop polluting as you know it to the extent possible.  Trust me.  Micro actions in macro numbers makes a difference. To the planet.

³ Dockrill, Peter. “We Have First-Ever Evidence That Mars Gets Intense Snowstorms in The Dead of Night.” Science Alert. 22 August 2017. Web. 19 September 2017.