Waiting

Today I gave up on trying to get out the door to my car so I could make a Dr.’s appointment. I had forgotten about the appointment until just about time to get ready to leave for it, as I didn’t think I really needed it. It was meant just to get a prescription for hand therapy–the least of my problems. The snow had not been cleared from the car (which Barbara does before she goes to work when she knows I have an appointment). The real problem, though, was my extraordinary lack of ability to get around. Yesterday I fell twice while holding onto the kitchen sink (no injury). So I am, perhaps, a little gun shy today. At any rate,when I noticed unusual difficulty, I decided to abort.

Anyway, it focuses my attention, once again, on the appropriateness of assisted living for me. Unfortunately, there are no facilities in the near Tahoe region which my long care insurance covers, so I will have to move off the Hill, and away from Barbara and all of my friends. I’m a very social creature, so, while not at all comfortable about it, I am not unbearably depressed over the prospect of losing friends, which I will surely do in the move. But the support of Barbara, even with the anger that sometimes accompanies it, will be irreplaceable. She still works, so my moving will have to be solo.

Snow is particularly unforgiving for those of us who get old and are handicapped, so moving off the Hill is something most of us contemplate. Many of my acquaintances have done, or soon will do, it, so that is another argument for not letting “off the Hill” stop me,

Davis has the advantages of my already knowing some people there, good writing groups, the university, a good transportation system, a town I’m fairly familiar with, and flat terrain. Most of its downsides, mainly heat and hay fever, are shared with Sacramento, which I’m also considering. Both are quite far from Tahoe, but so is Placerville, the closest place outside Nevada I could go. Nevada is ruled out because it doesn’t have MediCal. Barb and I will be checking places out shortly.

I’m currently reading Naomi Klein’s book “This changes Everything,” which mimics almost all my own thoughts on Climate Change. An observation which I had not made before, however, came from the early part of it. The biggest challenge facing us at the moment is the breakdown in belief systems we see in the politicization of the current debate. Monied interests, in order to protect the status quo, have reacted to the scientific community’s warnings about climate change by pouring resources into anti-science campaigns. The benefits they hope to gain are obvious since the existing system makes them money, and seeing beyond current making of money is not their strong point. As a result, in The United Stats and Canada, where these campaigns have been concentrated, vast numbers of people have chosen to believe the deniers rather than the scientist’s warnings.

Time will tell, of course, but neither deniers nor climate change believers can afford to wait if the scientific community’s warnings are accurate. The deniers cannot afford to wait if the alarmists are right, for everything will change. The alarmists cannot wait because they will be unable to  do anything about it. And yet we are waiting. Presumably hoping the scientific community is just wrong.

If neither of us can afford to wait if the scientific community is right, why are we waiting?

Perhaps it is mostly because the scientists seem to offer us no creditable solutions. A few   years ago, the most creditable solution to most of us would have been terraforming Mars. At the end of the space age, i.e., the last human expedition to the Moon, the public was ready to believe it could be done. Scientists were probably less enthusiastic, but there seemed to be no global threat then, anyway, and we got the Vietnam War instead. Now the threat seems all too real, but the possibility of terraforming Mars just too hard.

Isn’t that just too bad? If we’re not going to make it here on Earth, what other option awaits  us? We’ve got to  get off.

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5 Responses to Waiting

  1. Dallas Smith says:

    I hate to be pessimistic. But current events indicate that we may destroy ourselves in wars, conflicts, and social injustices before climate change does the job. There’s certainly no agreed-upon response or solution to the rising temperatures.

    • George says:

      Dallas:
      Thanks again for your continued interest in reading, and commenting on, the blog.I agree that we may well destroy ourselves before climate change makes life impossible for us, but do not agree that the one wouldn’t be triggered by the other. Unfortunately, I also believe our disappearance would not stop climate change from running it’s full course, which I see no reason to think will halt short of making the planet inhospitable to all lifeforms, as we know them. When I say it is not about us, it is this, as I see it, much greater tragedy, I think it is about. As shown, I suspect, by both Mars and Venus, the end result of a planet going bad for a species as clever as we have proven to be is much more likely to be a planet on which nothing can live than just one on which humans cannot live. This is what I see as the greater tragedy awaiting the earth.

      It is also why I give little credence to Hank’s objections (see his comment re atmosphere elsewhere on this blog). I think the conclusion that the possibility that nothing may survive on earth after we have done what we are doing–even if not certain–is morally compelling for us to do everything we can to make some other place in the universe hospitable to some, probably other, lifeform from planet earth. Mars may not be the best place in the solar system for us to make the other place–Europa might be better–but we probably will not get enough humans on board without the likelihood of getting humans a space to move to as well, and I have trouble seeing how we stand a chance on a water covered planet–but the solar system is the only place in the universe we can reach. We could try to fix it here, but I just think the population problem gets too hard to control here, too fast. That, I think, is a much harder problem than the lack of magnetosphere on Mars. All pales, though, in comparison to the problem of getting people to focus on the lifeforce, rather than on humanity.

  2. Hank Raymond says:

    What!!??? Change the status quo??? Everyone who makes money off it will fight it.

    You still have that pesky little problem of building and retaining an atmosphere on Mars with no magnetic field. Found a solution to that yet? Terraforming without an atmosphere???? I’m just not seeing a theory about how this could work.

  3. Hi George,

    Thanks for sharing your personal journey–like you’ve been contemplating for awhile, your recent falls point to the need for you to get consistent assistance. Being the social creature that you are, I can’t imagine you NOT having friends in a very short time where ever you go. Though, I know not able to replace Barbara and the long time friends you have in Tahoe, I see you staying connected to them in various ways.

    Myriad people see myriad solutions to the climate crisis and most of those are working on them…even on heading to Mars, as you propose. Who knows what the outcome will be to all these shared efforts. A heart molecule may think the lung molecules are insane for focusing on what they do, and neither may never know what the big picture looks like, but a big picture there is indeed. Does it mean the extinction of humans? Life? The evolution of the human body may provide clues…we’ve lost fins, gills and tails, all to the chagrin, I’m sure, of each of them, yet the species continues to morph and evolve….

    In the meantime, I’m glad to see you take further steps to provide the best self-care for your days ahead…and yes, I know you will have plenty of friends!

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