pacific sonata and soliloquyA stiff onshore wind cleared the thought that was stuck on replay since a friend's text, deploring the latest offense of 2020, stuck it in my mind. RBG gone less than 24 hours and already the jackals were salivating, revealing a soulless betrayal of their own perversity, again!
A bluff trail along a rugged stretch was the antidote of choice. Our national tragedy just got worse. Fresh air and surf gave me some distance to riddle it out.
I know we're in new territory, a place that is dangerous to the continued existence of the republic as we have known it, but we've gone even deeper into the dark woods. We'll explore our national mood, a bit further down the trail.
ash on the goldWhat is top of the mind, the crisis of the day? Out here on the West coast we've been forced into thinking about long term implications. Giant fires, loss of life and billions in property, limited resources, fouled air with a deleterious global impact.
Climate change is changing the course of history. California, the magical land of golden sun, beaches, mountains and redwoods, where the future and fantasy are built, Disney, Hollywood, Apple,Tesla, Google, and the place that loomed alluringly in the lives of boomers with every note of the Beach Boys, Eagles or Grateful Dead, must now navigate a veil of uncertainty. There is smoke and ash on the gold.
been bad beforeThe calculus for our daughters and grandchildren is a different data set than we used to engineer our aspirations. But there is always the X factor, human ingenuity, and now augmented by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Sitting around the dinner table recently, hearing them voice concerns about the future of their work, their children's lives, education, the government, state of the civilization and all, the best fatherly sagacity I could muster was, it's been bad before, but somehow the spirit leads to evolution, improvement and survival.
the new "moon shot"
Our parents would not recognize some of our everyday routines. And so it will be for our kids, and for us. Change is accelerating and it must. Life is coming at us more quickly.
Here are a couple ideas I've tried to seed. President Biden, and we hope that is so, should do a "moonshot" approach on wildfires. All of humanity would benefit.
With scientists, technologists, environmentalists, foresters, architects, builders and firefighters in concert, we can find a better way to mange forests and wild land, prevent fire perhaps, battle back at blazes and survive them.
It's more than a sci-fi notion, why can't our brightest design robotic, mechanical, scalable, "Transformer" like massive firefighting equipment and technology that can do what and go where humans cannot? Designed to adapt to all terrain, loaded or rapidly refilled with water or firefighting chemicals, able to attack blazes and withstand what brave humans can't. A fanciful notion? Perhaps, but this planet's future will involve fire on a scale unknown to our history. It's time for new thought. When JFK committed the US to get to the moon in a decade, it all had to be invented and made possible.
new ways to build
Homes need to be built and coded differently where fires burn. I'm not a designer, but I told the girls if we were building today, we'd design a home that includes a large section that is subterranean, built with concrete, cement, metal and other fire resistant materials. Interior and exterior sprinkler or retardant systems and more would be part of the plan.
After hurricanes devastated coastal homes, insurance companies, state, and federal agencies mandated new building codes. The same should go for those of us who live in states where wild fires are a reality. It would mean a massive change in construction, materials, design, and planning. It would no doubt limit development in some areas, but not to change is foolish.
Simply put, we need to get busy inventing our future, with an intentionality, and in response to what science and experience inform us.
An incompetent, criminal, minority President who is mentally ill and a liar without precedent, the deadly pandemic, and a terribly managed response, the bull goose looney Attorney General aroused by a growing authoritarianism, a cult like party largely brainwashed or belligerently ignorant and proud of it, the nation's diminished international standing, being seen as a stooge of Putin, and a trend to reverse civil rights apparently is not bad enough juju so now we have a Supreme Court vacancy to get exercised about.
Well, we have McConnell, and Graham and others in the Senate saying there should be no court nominee put forward so close to a Presidential election. But that was when a Black President, and a Democrat had an appointment to make. Now they have a White Racist Republican whose feet they lick. In the real world, there goes the notion of principle.
Do you remember when intelligent minds told us never to accept Trump and his gang as normal and never normalize the aberrant behavior? Did we ever have a chance, with one disaster or outrage leading to another?
Are there any Republicans, old fashioned true Republicans left in the Senate? I guess we'll see.
I suspect I'll be back on trails, grabbing as much pacific breeze antidote as I can in these next few weeks. In the near term we should celebrate the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an extraordinary human being who lifted the greatness of the US by her devotion to principle, liberty, intellect, law and a sense of human dignity.
Citizens deserve a process and timeline that allows us to think and reason. There has been precious little of that in the last 4 years. If this deplorable administration and its quisling minions in the Senate try to fill the court at this juncture, there may well be a seismic rumble. Two visions of the US are available to citizens this year. One leads to repair and problem solving. The other one is the super spreader of despair and problem making.
Stay safe. Take care of each other. Vote. Encourage others to vote.
See you down the trail.