Fourteen miles on the bike, an oriole flashing out of the bushes, and a garter snake snugged up under a rock next to my garage. A nice day that somewhat made up for yesterday morning’s discovery that two of my flower beds had been trashed during the night. I generally don’t give names to anything that might end up on my plate, but as of yesterday morning there’s a doe named $#!&!*sonuva#&!*! browsing in the area.
I’ve always liked being outside better than being in. One of my first memories is of playing in the coal pile outside the farmhouse on Wilson Hill. My second memory is of sitting in a washtub full of water. I suspect the two were related. The years of wandering and poking about in the ground turned into a degree in geology and although parenthood meant I had to settle down to an office job, I dragged my kid around the woods enough that as an adult she still loves it and any boyfriend who wants to gain traction better have a bike and hiking boots. A kayak is extra points.
There is a lot of hyperventilating about the environment. It’s changing, the sky is falling. Yes to the first. No to the second – sort of. Flippin’ big blasts from things dropping in from space are not exactly human-caused. The earth (the solar system, the galaxy, the universe) simply has never been stable. It’s not even solid. It twitches and shakes, shifts and shivers. Its magnetic field wanders, and sometimes the magnetic poles just plain do a 180 flip. The axis wobbles, changing what part of the earth gets the most solar energy, which in turn changes the climate. It hiccups and blows a piece of itself into dust and ash. A current in the Atlantic moves a few inches up or down and all of Europe changes. Fragments of crust wander around and grind together. And grind and grind and slide one over the other and that slipping and sliding into and around and over shakes, rocks, and rolls the crust and when a big shift comes you would be wise not only to have a house built for it but to not run down to the ocean to watch the tsunami come in. Oh, and yes, there is global warming. From about 26,000 to 13,000 years ago ice sheets more than a mile thick extended down to about 45 degrees latitude - the latest of several brutal cold cycles. Cold and sea ice extended much further south than that. When the glaciers retreated they left us Long Island, Nantucket, the Finger Lakes, Niagara Falls and the ability to live in places like Montreal. I’m good with that. I’m a bit puzzled as to how the combustion engine did all that but there you go.
It’s a bad idea to defecate where you sleep. But the earth and its occupants are so complex and so variable that we would do well to act with thought and hard science, not with emotion. And your blinkin' electric cars? They are essentially coal driven. So sod off.
Now if you’ll excuse me I hear $#!&!*sonuva#&!*! moving around just below one of the beds that was trashed Friday night and I’m going to slip outside with the pellet gun for a bit.