Last week’s White House National Climate Assessment was remarkably blunt about the reality of our situation – that we are already experiencing the effects of an environmental shift.
For some of us in the baby boom generation who have been following this issue for a long time, this comes as a surprising development. Yes, we had heard that our habits of consumption were contributing to a potential catastrophe, but it always felt our role was simple – to create the problem and then to start a conversation about how later generations would face it and solve it.
Sorry about the mess, guys. Good luck!
Now this latest report seems to suggest the we are not going to be able to skip out on the check after all. Any chance I can go back and un-drive all those miles and un-click all those switches that let the power flow?
I didn’t think so. Would a poem of atonement help? I asked Trail Baboon sing-song poet laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler to write one up, and he agreed because every stanza could include a reference to death – his favorite subject.
The warming fields and rising seas
The melting ice and dying trees
The drying lakes that will not freeze
This all has come up by degrees.
We’d heard it was a thing to dread.
And by our habits it was sped.
But also was it often said,
It won’t get bad ’til we are dead.
But now they say it has arrived!
Not something still to be derived
for our descendants to survive.
It came while we are still alive!
Our sadness, is, of course, profound.
For glacial ice now in the sound
and forest creatures elsewhere bound,
and us, that we remain around.
What have you witnessed that you thought you would never get to see?