• Tag Archives India
  • Not With A Bang, But A Fever

    Samain                                 Moon of the Winter Solstice

    Durban.  On the somewhat binding, sort of advanced, might be effective at some point result of this latest climate summit.

    On this point a very interesting column by a philosopher wondering how to make his discipline matter.  On climate science he suggested analyzing the thought and logic of so-called climate skeptics.  Given the weight and quantity of high quality data documenting climate change, climate skepticism is not skepticism, rather it’s the height of credulity.  That is, true skeptics, given the science, would doubt the doubters who somehow swallow, accept as credulous, the patent propaganda of those whose self-interest (as they short-sightedly see it) turns them against facts.

    “The last-minute successful agreement at Durban puts pressure on what has been the world’s biggest obstacle to a climate agreement – the US Republican party.

    For ten years or more, they have walked out of hearings on renewable energy or climate policy with “We won’t act on climate because China won’t!” – a petulant mirror image of the parental favorite: “Would you jump off a bridge, just cause your friend does?””

    But now – China will

    In terms of sheer global impact, there is nothing else within human control that matters more than reducing carbon emissions.  We insist on running our present in a way that commits our grandchildren to a difficult, if not downright dangerous, world.

    Because this is global politics and because the big emitters, China #1 and US #2, have internal political problems on this issue, as does India, and because the world is in the midst of a very unsettled global economic mess, the odds of something substantive happening seems faraway, distant.

    It may be that this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a fever.  But, maybe not.*

    “So does the outcome in Durban truly represent a “remarkable new phase,”  as U.N. Climate Chief Christina Figueres put it? Does the Durban Platform really “set a new course for the global fight against climate change”  (the phrase from an Associated Press wire story that many media outlets have picked up)? Maybe, but it will require a whole lot of work by the likes of the United States and China to keep the world on that course. At the very least, perhaps one could say, in that regard, that in the Durban Platform two of the world’s biggest emitters have agreed to stop squabbling and have shaken hands.”

  • Partners and Co-Creators

    Fall                                                       Waning Harvest Moon

    Went out and picked raspberries for pancakes this morning.  With a definite chill in the air the garden felt different, a bit sleepy, ready to bed down for the cold season.  After a month or so of feeling burdened by it, wanting it to disappear, my spring affection reappeared.  This patch of earth, these beds, work together with the plant world and Kate and me.  We share a joint stewardship of this property, each in our way committed to making it healthy, beautiful and bountiful.

    The soil has given of its nutrients, its water holding capacity, its sturdiness as a base for roots and stems.  The plants have combined the chemicals of the soil with that water and pushed themselves up and out of the earth, then blossomed and in many cases fruited.  Kate and I weed, tend the soil, watch the plants, picking bugs off of them, pruning, replanting.  We also harvest and, when the harvest ends, we replenish the soil with composted manure and mulch.

    When we use the plants and their produce, we take the leaves and stems and other unwanted parts and put them in a compost bin to return to the soil.

    This complicated working partnership among many different parties here is, in microcosm, the partnership we humans have with the natural world and the world of soils, air, water and sunshine.  It’s significant to note that the one unnecessary party to this the work is the human race.

    Plants will grow.  Rain will fall.  The sun will shine.  Soils will improve.  Fruits and vegetables will be made and distributed, all whether humans enter in or not.  We exist only as part of a richly integrated chain of being and we exist as its wards, not benefactors.

    We do have the capacity to intervene, but too often, far too often, when we do intervene, we disrupt what nature does willingly and foul the process, in the end harming ourselves.

    I wish our gardens and our orchard were more than supplements to our diet, but that is all they are, to be otherwise would require a commitment to the work I no longer feel able or willing to give.  Even so, as a supplement, this growing of flowers, potatoes, tomatoes, beets, carrots, leeks, beans, onions, lettuce, chard, spinach and peas, this caring for bees and harvesting honey, does keep us intimately engaged as partners with the natural world, a partnership so often hidden from view in this, the most capitalistic of all possible worlds.

  • The Year We Make Contact

    Winter                                     Full Moon of Long Nights

    Hmmm.  You know you’re getting old when the sequels to movies, one’s you saw when they came out, are now getting passed by the actual dates.

    The year we make contact.  Indeed.

    What will the next 10 years be like?  On an equally geezerly note the end of this new decade, Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise, will find me 72 years old.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve known people that were 72 but I wouldn’t let my daughter marry one.  Of course, I don’t have a daughter, so that makes that easy.

    My sense, my hope is, that in this coming decade, the teen years of this century, we will come to grips with climate change and in a way that will have a lasting, positive impact.  We won’t have completed the Great Work, the movement to a benign human presence on the earth, but we will have made substantial strides.

    Terrorism will decline as a front-burner issue, though it will remain with us, if for no other reason than the continuing disparity between rich and poor countries, disparities exacerbated over the next ten years by the continued growth of India and China.

    The Millennium generation will push us further toward a race neutral or race positive world.  It may be that we will develop the strength to see difference as a possibility for enrichment.  Or, maybe not.  I hope the tension begins to move in such a way that the fulcrum tips toward embracing pluralism.

    At the end of this decade the grandkids will be ten years older:  Ruthie 13 and Gabe 11.  Yikes.

    By the end of this decade I hope Kate and I have got this gardening thing well integrated into our lives.

    I hope for, I want a move toward, as one foundation puts, “a more just, verdant and peaceful world.”