Monday, January 03, 2022


 So, the name of the movie is Don't Look Up. It's about scientists discovering a comet that is hurtling toward the Earth, and how the government and media choose to deal with it. I bring this up not so much as a review, but as a bellwether. In the days after I watched the film I clicked past not one but several articles on Al Gore's Internet in which astronomers assured us all that we need not worry about such an event actually happening. I skipped past those to read how there truly is only one ring to rule them all. 

It's not real. And, as it turns out, neither was the ring. It's fantasy, and just like the heart of Lord of the Rings can be found in World War I, you don't have to look all the way to the heavens to find the inspiration for the comet. 

Just look up. Not to the skies, but to the world around us. People are still arguing about wearing a mask during a plague that has killed more than five million lives. And taking more every day. "A hoax," they cry as their gaze continues to bore a hole into their navels. 

If they looked up, they might bear witness to the cataclysmic effects of climate change. Over the past few weeks drought stricken California has been gasping beneath an "atmospheric river" that has brought creeks and streams that had been dry to near flood stage. Feet of snow has fallen in the Sierras. And we all breathe a sigh of relief. Until some scientist reminds us that we would need months more of this kind of precipitation to alter the reality of the Golden State. 

In Colorado, just down the road from where I was born, a fire burned through subdivisions in a matter of hours, destroying businesses and hundreds of homes. It had been nearly a month since there had been measurable moisture in the area. This is just over the hill from the place we used to call Ski Country, USA. Now we call it rubble. Tens of thousands were evacuated from the area. During a coronavirus spike, and sent to shelters where they were kept safe from the hundred mile an hour winds and the firestorm that raced through their neighborhoods. 

When the sun came up the next day, the area looked like a war zone. Snow began to fall as if to provide ironic counterpoint. Folks are beginning to line up to point out that it was downed powerlines that caused all that devastation. Not climate change. There will be an equal number popping up to argue with them. Meanwhile, scientists will have to go back to being interviewed about how we can get William Shatner back up into space.

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