Monday, January 9, 2012

"The Earth Is News": Global Warming Accelerates

Wendell Berry's poem "Morning News" (Farming, a Handbook [NY: Harcourt Brace, 1970]) says, "The earth is news."

I'm not sure Berry meant that insight in quite the way this Think Progress article by Brad Johnson means it.  Johnson reports on the record-breaking high temperatures the U.S. is experiencing this winter throughout much of the nation.  For the first time since records have been kept, Minnesota has had a high of over 60F in January, and temperatures have been more than 40 degrees above average in North Dakota and elsewhere.

We were in the high 60s for the latter part of last week, and were doing much of our outside work in short-sleeve shirts--in January in Arkansas.  In the coldest month of the year, for us.  On Friday, our car thermometer actually topped 70.

"The earth is news."  And for the next generation, that news seems unrelievedly grim, given the constantly growing body of evidence to support the conclusion that we've reached a tipping point with global warming from which it may be difficult for the planet to recover.  Ever again.

While people vying for the highest office in the land in the most powerful nation on earth--the nation whose decisions about these matters affect the world more than any other nation--pander to extreme religious-right groups that refuse to admit there's even an ecological problem, and cater to the needs of the very rich, whose greed has created the ecological disaster in which we all now find ourselves.

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