Perspective: The Farmer in the Dell

Remarkable how much harder it is to muster the energy to blog when I don’t have lovely images lying around to fill up extra space.

You were probably starting to feel complacent and self-satisfied because I haven’t berated you about your carbon footprint lately.

Well, here I am to put an end to that.

This gulf oil spill thing is pretty depressing, no? It has put me back into that too-familiar mindset of paranoiac dread, wondering how I can wander around in my idyllic paradise taking photos of wildflowers and smugly watching the average miles per gallon meter on my fancy new cash-for-klunkers-mobile creep past 40, while out there in the world two thousand gallons of oil per hour are spilling into the Gulf.

Let’s just put that in perspective, shall we? Every year for the past 50 years, leaking oil pipeline in Nigeria has spilled more oil than the Exxon Valdez. Every year for the past 50 years. What are they (BP, Shell, etc) doing about it? Not a lot. Why? Because it’s not happening off the southern coast of the U.S.?

Meanwhile, my sister tells me, U.S. and Canadian concerns in the mountains of Guatemala strip mine for gold using blast streams of arsenic, which contaminates the water table, making it poisonous to all forms of life. And it all just flows downriver to the sea.

Then there’s the garbage patch. The 2.8 million tons of pesticides used every year worldwide. Those de-oxygenated ocean dead zones the size of New Jersey. The 3.7 billion dollar sunscreen industry (slather on, rinse off in ocean, repeat).

One starts to wonder why there’s any water in the ocean.

The only thing that’s working on our side, the only thing that keeps me lying on my back in the grass in the backyard eating soft serve with my legs up on the picnic table thinking of whimsical names for the clouds, is the fact that the earth is still, for the moment, bigger than we are.

There’s a certain little ditty that creeps up at the back of my mind at times like these and won’t go away–it helps me to remember I’m not doing enough, even when I really, really wish I could just get the damn thing out of my head. It goes like this (sung to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell”):

We’re [email protected]¢king up the earth
We’re [email protected]¢king up the earth
Hi-ho the derry-o
We’re [email protected]¢king up the earth.



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