Peddling A Crock

Climate change is a figment of our imaginations.

So we can just disregard the latest batch of video clips from, oh, pretty much anywhere on earth. From the drought and fires out west, to massive fires in Siberia and deluges in Texas, to Spain and other European destinations where wind is ravaging beachfronts and kicking up dust storms, and rain is coming down in buckets, rendering postcard villages repositories for mud and damage very few ever imagined they’d see. Even China is suffering its share of meteorological excess.

Still, climate change is a plot by tree-hugging leftists who have it out for America. It can’t be climate change. It’s just earth being earth, that silly planet.

They apparently cannot see that the earth is being earth, and it is in the process of ridding itself of a malady. Which is us.

Balance is not part of the lexicon. Many things are out of balance.

Bottomless Pit

The Delta variant is running rampant through mostly red states. Florida has many waiting for a bed, Louisiana is sending patients to Texas, Mississippi is setting up field hospitals in parking garages. Health systems are on the verge of collapse. Holy shit. What did they expect?

In places, it’s the worst things have been since the start of the pandemic. Medical workers must be pulling their hair out, saying things like, “We shouldn’t be here, y’all.” Amen to that.

Freedom, though. Freedom is what it’s all about. No one gonna tell me what to do.

So be it, Donald. And Ronald. And Greg. And anyone else treating this as merely an “assault on our freedom,” a.k.a. a twisted political calculation.

This is what doubling down gets you. Your bandwagon is losing its axles, and you’re afraid of losing face with whoever is left in your insane march to the deep end.

Just Another Tuesday

Are the scandals real? Are there really that many men who have behaved badly? Probably. Is it really that women have just had enough and they’re not gonna take it anymore? Or is it also—maybe a little, or a lot— that women smell a payday and they want to get in on a settlement? That’s horribly cynical, I know. But the lure of cash makes for a powerful motivator. I best leave this to judges and juries to decide, and find something else to talk about.

Something more edifying, like the latest Covid disinformation. That’s often good for a belly laugh or two. I’ll try to figure out what I’m missing as Abbott and Costello, I mean DeSantis, stand in the way of health professionals who are trying to save lives. Who the hell are they playing to? Are they gambling with their careers, or are they that sure that support for such behavior still exists? Things are making less sense every day.

The planet is retching and purging, and people are losing their minds.

Speechless

What is a human life worth? Apparently not enough to sway opinions and understandings of Covid-19 and those heinous mask mandates and social distancing guidelines. And don’t get people started on having to wash their hands or get vaccinated. Freedom rules!

At this point, we are not going to emerge from the dark cloud that is Covid-19. It will not be completely controlled, it will continue to rear its ugly head from time to time, and we will just have to learn to live with it. Like the flu, on steroids. So, not like the flu at all.

It’s beyond my capability to capture in words. There is no such thing as all being on the same page, even when it comes to fighting a pandemic- a world-wide epidemic. No one asked for it, but it has happened and is happening still. Yet for far too many, it’s like it’s not happened at all.

A Pandemic of Distrust

The Delta variant may give way to something more vile and transmissible and practically impossible to defend against, which may sound alarmist but shouldn’t come as a surprise. The anti-vaxxers will inevitably jump on this and somehow interpret it to mean that the vaccines have been useless all along. Just as they thought!

See, this is when the mind-numbness hits another gear. All along the way, we have arrived at crossroads, and enough people have blown right through them without giving a thought to the significance of the moment.

Early on, we were told by people who actually know something about virus behavior that if we masked up and kept our distance for a while, the virus would peter out because it had less of a chance to infect somebody. Through a mix of necessity and stubbornness, enough people ignored that and the pandemic worsened.

Certain high-ranking government officials and network talking heads claimed our rights were being violated and freedoms threatened by being forced to wear a fucking mask and keep our distance. Many jumped on that bandwagon, and the pandemic worsened.

Vaccines were introduced for the purpose of inoculating as many people as possible and reducing the number of targets the virus could set its sights on, but enough people keep saying “no” and the pandemic that was in retreat is now resurging and likely to mutate into a form that current vaccines can’t defend against.

The unvaccinated will continue to place the blame on Dr. Fauci or the Communist pinko liberal Democrats or the boogeyman lurking under their beds.

I don’t know where the virus originated. We may never know this. What I do know is that millions of people have been steered down the wrong road by people they, for whatever reason, trust. And as they continue to listen to and believe Donald Trump and Rand Paul and Ron DeSantis and Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity and the rest, they will watch this nation they say they love—and the rest of the world- descend into chaos.

I’m beginning to think that the bunker builders and survivalists are on to something.  

Big Whoop

The Olympics are officially under way. I’m not really interested in watching. It’s far less the spectacle than in regular times, and not because of the absence of spectators. I have to say the opening ceremonies, the portion I actually watched, were captivating in part because of the lack of people in the stands. There was an eerie poignancy to it.

I’ve grown cynical of the whole enterprise, especially this time around. The world is supposed to pause and watch and be engrossed in the human drama, but the media overplay things, try to keep things cheery and upbeat, hype it with emotion-laden music and back stories, all in an effort to rationalize and totally distract us from the fact that there is still a raging pandemic going on, along with gross inequities in vaccine availability and distribution.

Instead of welcoming the distraction, shouldn’t we be focused on getting rid of the scourge? Don’t we have more important things to tend to besides making sure our precious athletes get to compete for their chance to make a name for themselves, make all the years of sacrifice pay off? And the IOC and NBC make their money back? And sponsors get the exposure they’ve paid for? The dissonance is grating.

Defenders will say we need the distraction when so much hasn’t been “normal” for the past year and a half. But this insistence on normal is what has gotten us into this mess in the first place. We’ve tried to carry on as if nothing is different. We’ve pushed against this aberration in routine as if it were merely an unwanted nuisance that will go away if we just ignore it.

And it will all be painted as a triumph of the human spirit. As if we have, somehow, prevailed.

Earthbound

The best argument for space exploration might be Earthrise—the picture taken by astronaut Bill Anders in late December 1968. It gives us a perspective we could have gotten in no other way except by being in Moon orbit looking back at our planetary home floating in the vast darkness of space.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to ignore the irony, or whatever, of Richard Branson going into near space and the gobs of money poured into that effort, as a way of making space tourism (?) more “affordable,” while back on earth there is so much rot. This has always been the critique, though.

It’s a familiar refrain—why not spend some of your billions making things better back here on earth? I’ve never been fully convinced by the argument officials at NASA or people who live in the rarified air like Branson have made along the way. If all we get out of space travel and a multi-billion dollar space station are things like self-satisfaction and affirmation of the human pioneering spirit, and another means of making money—along with Tang and pens that write upside down—then maybe there is an argument to be made for a realignment of priorities.

Wow, I can see where that might sound terribly ignorant and provincial. We deserve an accounting, though– a list– of the benefits to real life of all the years and billion$ (trillion$?) spent trying to reach the stars.

What More Do We Need to See?

Blame it on the 24-hour news cycle. We never get a break. Then again, one could argue that in the old days we were in the dark most of the time, left unaware of things like climate change. Back then if we had a heat wave, it was just something that was liable to happen in the summer time. Now we can’t avoid the connection with global warming and the effects we’re having on air and water and the rest. There’s a gloom and doom quality to things anymore.

The irony is that back then we were already setting the table for what’s going on now. We just weren’t thinking in those terms. Blissful ignorance, unaware of consequences. Now we’re all hyper-aware, maybe to the point of distraction, victims of overkill and exaggeration. When all is said and done, we still have the power to simply turn the TV off, knowing that it’s there if we need it.

Then again, climate change is real. We can’t bury our heads in the sand over that one anymore.

Something Doesn’t Feel Right

There is substantial opposition among Japanese citizens to the Olympic Summer Games, which are scheduled to start in three weeks or so. Apparently, there is potential for another COVID surge, and the people of Tokyo and elsewhere are not ready to welcome anyone into the country. Makes sense to me.

You’d never know that this opposition even exists here in America, based on the publicity and the build-up and the blind insistence that the games must go on. The advertising here gives no hint of the growing sentiment that the games should just be cancelled, or postponed again.

There was an article from one of the newsfeeds yesterday saying basically that to hold the games at this point would be a moral disaster. “From mere disaster to outright atrocity,” according to a Huffington Post article. It feels that way to me. The U.S. appears to be ignoring the warning signs and the unrest in Japan, instead plugging the games with the cutesy logo 202One, in hopes of rallying the nation?

Full steam ahead, damn the torpedoes and the continued presence of the pandemic. It’s all about money, as usual. Forget about the concerns of the local citizenry. Too many billions have been invested to turn back now. Too many spoiled, entitled, opinionated American athletes clamoring about all the years of training and sacrifice, yada, yada, yada…

Let the athletes compete without the spectators. Would that suit? Keep in mind that Japan has a surprisingly low vaccination rate and the pandemic is still happening.

It’s Here

“7 Reasons to be Extremely Optimistic About the Economy Right Now…” Really? When the adjacent headline might as well read “Record Temps in Siberia… Or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest and Canada”?

This is exactly why the earth is frying people. We avert our eyes and try to make believe the warming is just something that happens every so often. And we focus on some other topic that serves as a distraction, makes us feel better about things.

We’re not long for this world, if this is how we address a climate disaster IN PROGRESS. These aren’t warning shots across the bow. The assault has started.