Sunday, February 14, 2010

it's gettin' hot in here

Fred the Dude just wrote on slacktivist about the human tendency, when someone tries to implicate you in the brokenness of this world, to start yelling and blaming and passing the hot potato to the closest patsy you can find. I have been thinking about putting in my two bits about the whole global warming thing since it first started snowing a couple of nights ago, so here it is and nuts to you, Fred, for typing faster.

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I have always thought it a wee bit funny when people start to rage about global warming - not those guys with the lab coats and the oscillating spectrowitzits - but rather people like me and you: people who don't know anything, and yet perpetually act like we know everything.

Some dude somewhere who has several pieces of paper that insist he knows everything says, "Oh, by the way, we've averaged every temperature in the whole wide world and analysed all sorts of stuff you would not understand and guess what? We've got some oceanfront property to sell you in Kansas". Then some other dude says, "Check me out, I've got a lab coat, too, and guess what? It just snowed in Louisiana. So there, you stupid, stupid, stupid-head". And then all the sudden you and me and all the other sheep who have even less of a clue what's going on, we all start yelling across the dinner table about how obvious it is that people who think the opposite of us about the decimals in the average global temperature are all idiots.

You know what I say? I say that no matter what, the world is going to have people who are going to do whatever stupid, destructive things they want to, as long as they can still feel good about themselves in the process. So they're all going to seek out people who tell them that they are awesome (or at least a bit better than most) and then they are going to listen to those people and vilify anyone who says different. We argue about average global temperatures because it is such a gargantuan concept that it enables us to yell angrily without ever facing up to the fact that everyone - even (gasp) us - is making selfish, tiny, day-to-day decisions that are making the world dirtier.

You may not litter, but you sure do drive a car on a road made out of petroleum. Or if you don't, and instead ride a bicycle and eat from dumpsters, the fact remains that that cast-off food you eat has been paid for by a glutted culture of death and destruction.

Whether or not the world is getting colder... or hotter... or more green... or even purple, the fact remains that we (that is, you, specifically, who are reading this, and I, who am writing it) are taking a beautiful, balanced, God-infused thing and we are destroying it for convenience, pleasure, and the possibility that if we pile up enough stuff other human beings will finally love us.

Now, I know you can't stay alive without destroying and that even the vegans kill things when they clean their houses and cook their bland food (microorganisms are people, too!), but it is one thing to destroy because you have to to stay alive... it is quite another to destroy without thought or care because you want to control your fear by making a big huge fort of toys in which you can hide from the reality that you are very, very small and are for absolutely certain going to get old and die.

I understand this, I do. I am writing because I feel the need to do something, and because I feel very small and want to do anything to be able to feel, today, as though I matter. I need to "wail, for the world's wrong" and the truth is, most of the time I don't. Most of the time, just like you, all I want is to be entertained and  to feel good about myself. For example, when I put my son to bed for his nap just now I sat down at this computer and honestly debated for a while whether to just watch TV on hulu, or to look for some fantasy woman I could objectify and use for pleasure (drug/failure of choice: quitting, I swear... thank God).

I chose instead to do this thing - this writing - because I believe that my options in life are only two: create, or destroy.

I feel better now. I have made something. It sure beats killing brain cells with streaming video.

Acknowledging that I am a destructive wastrel is important. It is the first step to actual, real change. It is the first step to beginning to turn destruction into creation, and it is also something that I have been saying for a long, long time. This is because I am different. And, of course, less to blame... because it's really more your fault, when I think about it. So do something already!

I'll be right here, tapping away at this coal-powered computer.

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