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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

First a dream

Dear Stony Run

Day three dawned gray and stayed gray; from Omaha to Chicago one's impressions are of plowed stubble, grain elevators, water-filled ditches, coal-fired plants, and coal trains. Lots of coal trains.

It is depressing to me to think of all the triumphalism among the climate know-nothings, when hundreds of thousands of trainloads of this stuff have been pumped into the sky, to say nothing of the effect of billions of petroleum cars and trucks, airplanes, ships -- and trains. In spite of this year's la nina, we hear from NASA and NOAA that 2010 is pulling away from 1998 and 2005 to be the hottest year in recorded history, and with nowhere much to go but up.

I suspect, that with so many other things, that which goes by the name of "scepticism" in this matter will boil down to, at the last, racism -- that those leaders and industrialists that so embrace coal and oil and its money do know, implicitly or explicitly, that they are propagating one of the most devastating lies in history, but are quite happy to do so, as the majority of those who will suffer, and die by the millions will largely be "those" people -- in places like Senegal, Bangladesh, and the poorer neighborhoods of New Orleans.

Do not think that I do not know of my complicity. Yet it bears saying, as a step toward something better. As I thought of these things, I noted that Carl Sandburg is depicted in a mural by the tracks in Galesburg, and this is the quote they chose from his works: "Nothing happens unless first a dream."

I am seeing many, many houses and yards but almost no gardens; this affects me even more than the coal trains. Happily, one meets wonderful people on trains -- and so many of them have stories of how they dealt with the rality of aging parents.

From Galesburg it is all suburbs, pretty much, into Chicago. I got one good look at the imposing skyline before we plunged ito the station, and then for all purposes it was night, as the Capitol Limited would be leaving at 6:40.

Love to all,


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