Today is Earth Day. I decided not to do laundry, run the vacuum, or wash dishes to save electricity. It was a sacrifice, but I figure if we all don’t do our part, we’re going to live in an ugly grey world pretty soon, and not because all the baby boomers are getting older.
I helped write a book about global warming (www.thebookfootprint.com). What I learned is that this is scary stuff. I would just as soon not know that humans are turning Mother Nature into a real bitch. She’s going to be hot and humorless and cut us all off out of spite. You know what they say about a woman scorned. It’s worse with a woman scorched.
Global warming isn’t such a hard principle to understand. If you’ve ever had a baby, my analogy is nothing like childbirth, although I have some good stories I’ll share one of these days. I’ve found that men especially love hearing about labor and delivery. No, I’m going to give you an analogy that will help you understand what climate change is all about.
New mothers worry that their babies will catch a cold, so they bundle them up from head to toe with little stretchy caps and booties and those one-piece things that don’t let a whisper of air in. Then they put them in a stroller padded with hot foam rubber. THEN they put a blanket over them.
I know this because it’s what I did with my son – my firstborn. He had awful colic and if I wanted even one second of peace from the screeching I’d have to walk him in the stroller. He’d either fall asleep or be entertained by the motion. Come rain, sleet, hell, or shine I’d walk him. If it was nippy, he got bundled up.
Once I remember bringing him in the house while he was asleep, and I was relishing the lack of screaming for a few minutes before he woke up. I can’t tell you how that child would bellow. Soon he woke up, and I took his hat off to discover that his head was soaking wet. Little rivers of water were running down, and his face was beet red. With all those layers of clothes, his body was reacting to the heat by trying to flood his head with cool water and turning his face red to let his stupid mother know she was roasting him.
That’s what global warming is like. CO2 wraps the earth in a layer of too many clothes and blankets. Mother Nature gets hot in there, and she starts to sweat. She’s sweating record hurricanes in New Orleans. This throws everything off kilter. Places that are usually hot get cold (record snows in Washington DC), and places that are wet get dry (Oregon has had more sunny weather this winter than I can ever remember). This is how Mother Nature is showing us that something’s wrong. If she had a face, it would be beet red like the baby’s, but since she doesn’t, she has to throw these weird weather events at us right and left. You can’t go a day without hearing someone say, “This is really crazy weather we’re having.” It’s Mother Nature trying to slap some sense into us.
As kids, most of us listened to our mothers because they protected us and fed us and we trusted them to do what was best for us. As we grew older, we started tuning our moms out. They nagged about the same old things and were so totally not with it. Then when we got even older, we started seeing that our moms had it pretty together and we should have listened to her.
Well, Mother Nature is talking to us big time, and we need to listen now. She’s saying, “Get out and walk instead of driving, turn off the boob tube, hang some laundry out and turn the heat down.”
There’s one thing I’ve learned. If you don’t make your mother happy, she will rain down a holy terror on you. We have to unite together as brothers and sisters to keep that from happening – and the sooner the better.
Today’s a good day to start.