April 17, 2009

It's the End of the World as We Know It

There’s this thing that happens every spring in this place I live. The birds start chirping, green starts to seep out on tree branches and lawns, and the air feels thick with impending heat for about a week or two, and then it snows—full on blizzard style. The sky turns gray as do all of our hopes, as we gasp and stare with horror into the great white. Somehow, every year, I am still surprised by this, although it should seem normal, it still doesn’t. And then we miss another spring, as winter changes directly into summer.
It’s at times like these, when we get a ton of snow so late in the season, that I start to wonder to myself. Honestly, I’m not much of an environmentalist. Yeah, I like the environment. I want to save our trees and do what I can to make sure that our air is clean, but at the same time, I’m not willing to donate a lot of time, energy, or money to the cause while there are other more efficient and cheaper alternatives available. That may make me a cretin, I don’t know. I guess it depends on who you talk to. But, at times like these, I have to stop and think: what is actually going on here? Maybe global warming isn’t a myth afterall.

Ok, so before you get mad at me, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I know global warming isn’t a myth. But sometimes, the way people talk about it, it seems a little extreme. I love a tree as much as the next guy, but I’m not of the persuasion that there’s some way to put on the full-stop brakes of modern living or turn back time to undo so much damage that’s already occurred. It’s not an excuse; I still think it’s important to look for clean energy and creative solutions to environmental problems. And some are really doable, and I'm ashamed of myself when I don't put in the effort. But, sometimes I am just forced to say it: Seriously?

Then it makes me think, remember dinosaurs? Remember the Ice Age? Remember volcanoes and earthquakes and all kinds of natural disasters? Not everything that happens in the environment is a result of human involvement, and more importantly, not everything can be manipulated or controlled by human activity, or the lack thereof. It doesn’t mean I don’t want to help out—nature is my friend—but it does mean that I realize my limitations and our limitations, collectively.

As I’ve done some research on my city's weather patterns, it seems that this latest snow storm is not cause for alarm. Usual? No. Scary? Also, no. But, if we get a snow storm in June or July, does that mean I need to run for cover or start digging out an underground bunker? Is the world coming to an end? Hmm, maybe. I guess I ought to buy a few more canvas grocery bags.


Michael said...

Baby steps--that's right. Some places I lived in Russia proved to me that human behavior can have an impact on the environment. How big? We can leave that for the scientists.


Gini+Eric said...

HA! I love your last sentence.

And happy birthday?! Happy birthday!!

Ryan and Candice Nelson said...

Those pictures are gorgeous!

Jessica said...

I hear ya girl!