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Saturday, April 04, 2015

Way back when




I am reaching the age where everything that seems to matter much to me is a memory. This little video gathers together some murky snapshots (we had poor cameras, and later a poor scanner) from the era during which the poems and the garden journal were being written.

I thought then that the 70s were the good old days. Now I look upon the 90s with an equal sense of nostalgia.

It's not all nostalgia. These days it appears the nation in which I live has leaped off the fascism cliff. Along with that the weather was more reliable then, and so one could actually garden!

Things around the world are much more dangerous than many of my neighbors think. They're concerned that certain people (of whom, maybe they don't make the connection, I am one) are a moral blight, even though it would make more Biblical sense to refuse me service for Gluttony (a listed deadly sin) than for being who I am, which is my own business and not theirs. And they're concerned about ISIS, which is a symptom of social/environmental disaster rather than the primary cause. Put a million farmers out of work, and violence may be the result.

No, the danger might best be expressed in a series of graphs.

This one shows what has happened to our numbers, especially since we discovered 1) hygiene, 2) coal and oil, and 3) standardization of parts.

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/
The curve does not show the destruction wrought by the Black Death, but I suppose it would on a different scale.

This one shows how, in addition to our own numbers, we have replaced the wild things of the earth with our own biomass and that of our slave animals, principally cows. Where we have placed cows especially, we have deforested, and all of the animals in captivity, as on industrial farms, must receive feed from offsite -- this from industrial feedstock farms that are systematically destroying soil.

http://www.paulchefurka.ca/
On top of this, our equipment made from standardized parts exhales from over five billion tailpipes, in the air, on land, and at sea, mining, refining, shaping, using, moving about, and throwing "away."

The gases exhaled hold more heat in the surfaces and atmosphere of the geosphere than they allow to escape, via infrared radiation, into space, destabilizing weather and promoting sea level rise, among other effects.

www.ncdc.noaa.gov

All this tells me that, while I, at 66, may have "dodged the bullet" from the situation of which I have been a part, the children may not be so lucky.

As I watch this video of old photos, I feel a certain (perhaps illusory, but so what) sense that we made a life, and a relatively, as such things go, low-impact one. But I also feel "Time's winged chariot hurrying near" -- not just for me and mine, which was the poet's point, but for everyone and everything.

Hug your loved ones, 'K?






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