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Retired publishing executive ecstatic with the idea of spending most of his time on the coast of Maine

Friday, October 19, 2012

Climate control

At the national Land Trust Alliance meeting in Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago, I heard a myriad of inspiring stories - land trusts in every corner of the country are conserving and preserving huge ranches, little urban parks, farms, wetlands and woodlands and badlands and uplands from development and for people. There was a lot of talk of climate change also, fairly depressing stuff, in fact, including an image now indelibly imprinted in my head: those countless rich-people developments of big houses in Florida that, all through  the hot season (which is half the year), are continuously air-conditioned, even though NO ONE IS EVER THERE in the summer. Why the air-conditioning? Because if the houses weren't cooled, mold and fungus would take over and the houses would soon fall down. What a culture! Pun intended.

I'm even more depressed to realize, as many people have now pointed out, that in nearly 5 hours of national debating, the four gentlemen on the tickets have so controlled themselves as to mention the issue of climate change not once. Sacrifice, foresight, prudence, investment - these are now irresponsible words in a time of continuous economic crisis. In a hundred years, humans will curse us for ignoring this great threat to the life in which our spirits, our art, our happiness and our very genes thrive: storms, heat, food shortages, water where it shouldn't be, not enough water where it should be, loss of life in a scale approaching all-out war. Perhaps our descendants will like their big heads, puny bodies, respirators, body armor, indoor climate-controlled immunity bubbles - somehow I think not.

So this afternoon I split wood for an hour, that helped some. Then I sat down by the shore to watch an ocean storm building; the wind blowing from the southeast whence much of our best drama comes, the clouds of a rainy warm front overtaking the blue sky, whitecaps building in the bay, the strong surf of high tide roaring on the rocks. That helped even more. And when a bald eagle flew by right in front of me, I was almost cured. Almost.

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