Wednesday, October 11, 2023

#284 / The Most Anomalous Month

Bill McKibben, pictured, is identified by Blister as a "skier, environmentalist, activist, and author." All true. Click that link to McKibben's name if you'd like to read what Blister has to say about him. You can click right here to get Wikipedia's take. Finally, if you'd like to go to a "primary source," be advised that McKibben publishes a Substack blog, "The Crucial Years." The October 7, 2023, edition of his blog is entitled, "The Rays of the Sun." 

If you passed by the opportunity to click on all those other links, I am suggesting that you do click the last link provided, to read McKibben's message about that old friend that makes everything possible: 

This is the sun, up close and personal
Here is a short excerpt from what McKibben has to say in his "The Rays of the Sun" blog posting: 

Amid the endless interesting details of the climate and energy fight, I find myself sometimes losing track of the basic outlines of our the dilemma. So let’s try to oversimplify it for a moment, just to make sure we’re at a place we can work from. The key, as always, is the sun.

Right now, thanks to our recklessness, the sun is overheating our planet. And by right now, I don’t mean in this century. I mean, in this month. The global temperature readings for September should have been the top story on every newscast in the world, because they were bonkers. June, July, and August were historically hot—we saw the hottest days recorded on the planet in 125,000 years. September wasn’t quite as hot, of course, because it’s fall. But in relative terms September was even more outrageous. It was, the scientists tell us, the most anomalous month we’ve ever seen, with temperatures so far beyond historical norms that the charts don’t even seem to make sense.... As the Washington Post reported, “the planet’s average temperature shattered the previous September record by more than half a degree Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit), which is the largest monthly margin ever observed”(emphasis in original).

Again, I recommend that you read the entirety of what McKibben has to say. But here is what I have to say. 

September was "anomalous." Ok. True! But, in fact, the conditions on Planet Earth are now "anomalous" every day of the year - every day of our lives. This means, I believe, that we need to reevaluate our lives. 

If it ever made sense to "do what seems natural," and to follow accepted and historic patterns and precedents as a guide to what we do during our time and presence here - a time and a presence on this beautiful planet (see below) which has so mysteriously been provided to us - that is no longer true. Past precedents no longer apply. It is no longer true that we can live our lives as though following accepted patterns is what is demanded of us, and is what makes sense. 

Our lives must now take into account the "anomalous" nature of where were are, and the times in which we live, and the "anomalous" nature of the world we now inhabit.  That means, for those of us alive (and in my case, and McKibben's - still alive), that any traditional, or normal, or typical plans for how we will spend our time on Earth need to be rethought. 

Radically rethought. 

Among other things, I think that we will all need to reevaluate how we "spend our time." We will need to consider "reallocating" our time to work (individually, but above all collectively) to stopping, and then reversing the global warming that is the cause of the "climate crisis" about which McKibben is writing - and which we all "know exists," however much we like to avoid confronting the truth that "things have changed." If you want to hear Bob Dylan deliver that message, you can click right here

Whether you choose to do that, or not, take some advice from William Blake:

Look on the rising sun
There God does live
And gives his light
And gives his heat away...
And we are put on earth a little space
That we may learn to bear the beams of love

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