Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Frog days hang in the gorge.

Looking out as I sit here sipping the morning's allotment of juice from the evil bean, I can actually see the air. Lumpy and whitish, it moves up the creek, crawls over the far ridge and then changes its mind...confused and addled from the burden of too much water. Funny how the world works...In Colorado they are beginning to think the local drought will make the dust bowl years look like relief, while here at my home it rains most afternoons, enough to murk up the snorkeling but not enough to make whitewater to play in. I consider myself lucky to be here at this spot but I have to think about the West and wonder if I will live long enough to see the Cumberland Plateau become just as parched.

Anyone who has hiked in New Mexico or Arizona and has also spent much time in Eastern Tennessee will note the geographical resemblance of the two places. One has trees and one has cacti, but the mesas and arroyos of the West are nearly identical to the plateaus and gorges of the East when you get down to the dirt and rock. The crinoid fossil I saw emerging from the rock overlooking the Green River gorge in Colorado looks very much like the crinoid fossil I have laid into my hearth behind the wood stove. It came from Great Falls on the Caney Fork River in Tennessee. Both lived in shallow seas which have long since disappeared. The Twin Arches in Big South Fork could easily be in Moab. You just have to walk much closer to see them because of the trees. It is all about climate, which is all about water and heat. It is another form of the energy problem. During frog days on the plateau, we have our own form of the energy problem. The heat and humidity cause a shortage of energy when we need to be doing things. Lots of things get started and lots of things never get finished.

The climate in both the East and the West has changed. As a matter of geological record it pretty much is always changing all over the world. Humans are very short lived compared to the time frame of historical climate change. If we can't see it, well then it must not be happening. It's the "boiled frog" effect. I've seen this with crabs but I've never had any reason to boil a frog to test it. I have boiled a fair number of blue crabs and they will sit right there in the pot, never moving or trying to save themselves from taking that personal journey from crustacean to food, but only if you start with cold water. It's the slow change that gets them. I made the mistake of tossing one into hot water one time, and all hell broke loose around the camp. A pissed off crab is a frightening thing to confront.

Now we humans are getting to see what it's like. The last three months were the warmest on record in North America. Virtually every scientist in the world, who is not funded one way or another by an energy company, is concerned. Frankly, a whole bunch of the scientists that are funded by the energy companies are concerned. For that matter, even the President of Shell Oil Company is concerned and I'm pretty danged sure he is funded by an energy company. Even the American Military is concerned. The Pentagon has issued a position paper saying this is a huge problem and sent it to the President of the United States who is NOT concerned. He is more worried about being reelected than much of any thing else. He's trying to stay out of jail.

I think he is crazy. All his best buddies are going to be in jail so he could hang with all of them and just kick back for a few years. Ken Lay, Dick Cheney, Tom Delay, Rush Limbaugh...They could have their own basketball team at recess so why is Bush fighting it? After some consideration I think he needs a new motto to help boost his ratings. He's pretty unpopular right now. I think his new motto for reelection ought to be:

"Follow Me to the Apocalypse"

That should work with his most fervent voter base, don't you think?

Insiders at the Whitehouse are starting to say George W. Bush is crazy, too. When a Washington news organization published the startling revelations from Whitehouse aids saying The President was nuts like Nixon, nobody refuted it with any factual corrections. The conservative pundits merely attacked the news provider personal sexual history, as is customary. The allegations still stand that the Prez is losing it.

The Vice Prez seems to be losing it too. When ever he gives a speech he says something like, "Hey, I never said Saddam was involved in 9-11, but you know he was because I say so, even though every other knowledgeable person on the planet says I'm lying." To which the Fox News pundits will say, "See, we told you so!" And to which every body else will say,


See! They're crazy. That is the only rational explanation. One thing you can notice is that when Conservatives have a problem, they accuse everybody else of the same thing. That's why you see Rush, who just fried his third marriage by virtue of drugs and infidelity, ranting about Bill's sex life. Now they have this mental instability issue they have to deal with so what do they do? They accuse every body else of being crazy! Here is a list of the people that conservatives have recently and publicly accused of being crazy:

Tom Daschle, Nancy Pelosi, Ann Richards, Jesse Jackson, Paul Wellstone, George Soros, Gray Davis, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Martin Sheen, Al Franken, Kevin Phillips, Bill Maher, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy, Susan McDougal, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Max Cleland, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, and Bill Clinton

And Al Gore! Al was branded crazy for bringing up the little problem of climate change way back when. I don't think I have heard one single conservative puppet, I mean pundit, say Al was right but he was and is... No boiled Frog, that Al.

So while the air gets heavier and heavier I will just try to keep my cool and watch the show. In the mean time I have a reading assignment for you... here is an excerpt from David Podvin:

"Conservatives are tantalizingly close to eradicating the American way of life as we know it, and they have no intention of allowing their cherished plans to be spoiled by someone who is so crazy that he insists upon telling the truth."

This is a well reasoned article that is a fun read, also. Get to it, frogs!




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