Friday, August 6, 2010


I sit with the white dog and stare out the window. 
 Though our cage is a lush one of flowers and tapestry, we are assuredly trapped here within. Calidity rises from the garden at dawn, bleaching the flowers to paper brown grey and turning the green grass to straw.  Almost audible, it hums and it grumbles round the cottage at noontime, whispers and murmurs on into the night.   Alone in our shadowy chamber of lamplight, we two are in hiding from the hot wrath of Helios, unleashed when his chariot came down near the earth to find something amiss on the waters - the blue waves now obscured by the folly of man, with the great feathered creatures now flightless, the maritime mysteries now gasping for air.

 Orwellian words are heard from our radio, warnings to stay in our homes.  Our eyes redden and burn with each venture outdoors.  So, what can we do now but gaze out our window?  How do we tame these mad torrid days?  As we sit with hands folded, waiting for autumn, are we witnesses to the dawn of a new blistered world - a strange faded landscape void of lushness and colour, against which our windows will always be closed?  
Is this now the new face of summer?

With a healthy cold nose, the big white dog nudges me away from my worry, his reminder that it’s time to play ball.  
For our hallways are long and the yellow ball is squeaky.  
There is still fun to be had, even inside. 
 Bless him.


This is not complicated. We know that our planet is enveloped in a blanket of greenhouse gases that keep the Earth at a comfortable temperature. As we pump more carbon-dioxide and other greenhouse gases into that blanket from cars, buildings, agriculture, forests and industry, more heat gets trapped. What we don’t know, because the climate system is so complex, is what other factors might over time compensate for that man-driven warming, or how rapidly temperatures might rise, melt more ice and raise sea levels. It’s all a game of odds. We’ve never been here before. We just know two things: one, the CO2 we put into the atmosphere stays there for many years, so it is “irreversible” in real-time (barring some feat of geo-engineering); and two, that CO2 buildup has the potential to unleash “catastrophic” warming. When I see a problem that has even a 1 percent probability of occurring and is “irreversible” and potentially “catastrophic,” I buy insurance. That is what taking climate change seriously is all about.”

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times, 8 Dec 09

Painting above by Howard Pyle