I have very nice neighbors. My immediate neighbor planted a rose bush in the corner space because I once told her I loved roses. The next neighbor down brought Laney Halloween cake mix and frosting last year. But the best gift* comes from my neighbor, Michael, who subscribes to The New Yorker but reads it on his iPad - he gives me the print copy. It's a weekly treat courtesy my nice neighbors.
Well it was. Until today. Today I was leafing through the issue he brought by yesterday and I started this article that I thought was about sex. I am delighted by the idea of super-literary, softcore New Yorker style sexiness. But it was a story about corn sex. And corn sex is difficult. Just to be clear: not people having sex with corn. I'm talking pollination. I'd just as soon not think about corn sex with people. Apparently, it's radically difficult for corn to get pollinated and this weather exacerbates exponentially the difficulty.
Furthermore, according to the article I could not stop reading and which I expect is true because, well, it's The New Yorker, the effects of our current climate abuse won't be felt until 2048, when Laney is my age. I'll most likely be dead, so what do I care? Except, all things being equal, I'd prefer for my daughter to live in a world with food and where she can walk outside and stuff.
In short: it scared the shit out of me.
Because what can we do? Neither Obama nor Romney are going to talk about it because American politics are stupid and rather than admit there's a problem, it's a lot easier to construct convoluted Kenyan, communist conspiracies and ignore the derechos and droughts. And we have a media that seems to believe that despite the science having been decidedly decided on the very real threat of climate change, that guy with the Bachelors in Metereology from University of Phoenix that James Inhofe put on the Exxon/Mobile payroll should still get TV time. And also, all the rest of the retired senators and congressmen will have made so much dough from the revolving door between the Capitol and K Street, that they can buy their progeny a future.
But I am not prone to pessimism (I am, however, prone to alliteration). So, I'm putting my faith in the next generation. As I've mentioned before, my own generation is pretty sucky, but we feel OK about that because at least we're less sucky than the baby boomers (although, to be honest, that's a pretty low bar to clear). But the next generation is just going to have to be awesome and fix it. Leaving those of us in my sucky generation with two obligations: (1) make the kids aware of the issue and (2) teach them science.
I try (and fail... but I try) to make our obligation to the planet a theme around this household. I'm going to redouble my efforts. We all should. We need our kids to believe in this and to believe they have the power to do something. Because we're too crazy to fix it now.
But we're less crazy than we were. I know that seems hard to believe when you turn on Fox News, but remember Freeedom Fries and that whole Dixie Chicks thing? We're a little less crazy. 9/11 broke our national brain and it takes a while to recover from that. But I think we are. And I am hopeful that when Laney enters the adult world, those people running for office on the God Will Take Care of Everything ticket will be like Larouchies were in the 70s. And the only media figures saying that there's no such thing as climate change because it's cold in winter (which is sort of like saying "there's no such thing as gravity because, look, planes"), will be broadcasting from the tissue box in the local looney bin.
And I'll turn down the AC. And ignore James Inhofe. And encourage our elected officials to quit being such pantywaists and at least TALK about some climate legislation. Because this shit is seriously scary.
* Actual my favorite Michael gift is that sometimes he drinks with me and makes me laugh.