Granted, not everybody's going to get this. Maybe one in ten. For the rest, I figure it just makes their day slightly more surreal. The story about the walrus stranding in Alaska hit me harder than I expected: probably because I see it as a harbinger of worse things to come. The thought that my kids are going to live in a world where all the animals are dying - that kind of gets to me.
On the other hand, since I'm a liberal, I can allow for the possibility that I'm entirely wrong. Christ I hope so.
Speaking of Christ, it seems odd that our fundamentalist Christian friends are sitting this one out. I remember when everything from supermarket scanners to Madonna videos was considered a sign of the end times. Now the whole top of the planet's melting with hardly a whisper from the holy rollers.
The deeply religious probably aren't going to be much help anyway: after all, if God wants a better planet He'll just make one. I'm afraid this task is going to be left up to the atheists... they're the only ones who really know the stakes.
Of course freeway signs, comprehensible or not, are hardly a solution. It's not like someone's going to see a sign that says Save the Arctic and then go out and do it. On the other hand it seems criminal to let things go this far with so little mention on the landscape. So I consider this as a sort of moral beautification project.
If nothing else, Freewayblogging gives me a sense that I'm doing the best I can with what I've got. And that at least I'm doing something. If something more useful occurs to me then I'll do that instead, and I'm pretty sure my kids will do the same. Yeah, growing up on a planet where all the animals are dying is gonna be depressing, but so was growing up on a planet bristling with nukes. ("When I was growing up we were all gonna die any second in a nuclear war just because some senile actor with a great smile hated commies. You kids don't know how good you've got it...")Every generation shares this though: we're all born into a world where nobody really knows what's going to happen, and as far as I'm concerned that's the best part of it. Maybe the walruses will pull through somehow. Maybe we will too. In terms of dealing with it in the meantime, I think Edward Abbey said it best:
"Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."
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