Not only is his book The Four Hour Workweek one of my personal favorites, this guy is wicked smart! Happy Movie Friday!
Did you know? Up to 80 percent of all life on our little blue planet is found in the oceans. . . and oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet. More than half of the oxygen needed to maintain life on Earth comes from marine plant life.
“I pray to the birds. I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward. I pray to them because I believe in their existence, the way their songs begin and end each day—the invocations and benedictions of Earth. I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen.”
― Terry Tempest Williams, Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Read more
OIL IN WATER
Gil coughed and opened his mouth, pushing with his tongue. His eyes flew open and he found his face pressed against Max’s coat, a mouthful of the course bristly stuff, dry as cotton, poking at the insides of his cheeks. He coughed and spit the hair out, whacking at it with his unencumbered hand. The bushy mane turned, like a giant rock rolling away from the cave’s opening, and yawned. Max lay on his back, paws in the air, and whined, waiting for Gil to rub his belly. Gil grabbed his water bottle from the night stand, took a big swig and swished it around in his mouth.
“Yuck.” He sat cross-legged next to Max, adjusted his sling, then began to rub in slow, deliberate circles with his good hand, putting them both in a trance. Max moaned in ecstacy, scratching the air one front paw at a time until Gil stopped in mid-stroke.
“Oh my God.” Gil looked at Max. “I had a dream, Max. I had a dream.” Gil got up on his knees and bounced. “I had a dream, Maxie. A dream!” Gil stood up on the bed and began jumping up and down, then dancing in a strange, cohesive rhythm, singing all the while. “I had a dream. I had a dream.” He danced and sang and twirled, “I had a dream. I had a dream,” until his foot accidentally landed on the discarded water bottle and he toppled to the floor. He stuck the landing. Max stared over the side of the bed after him. For a moment Gil looked at him with wide-eyes before bursting into peals of laughter.
“I gotta tell Kori and Avery.” He leaped up and in two giant, awkward strides, he was at the door. “C’‘mon, Max. Let’s go.”
Hart sat on the couch with his laptop and a cup of coffee. Avery sat at the other end reading the Sunday Inquirer . Kori and Jack snuggled together on the recliner. They could hear Aunt Stella, whistling in the kitchen while she made breakfast.
“I still can’t believe it’s a week already,” Avery said.
“Can we not talk about it please?” Hart asked. “I’m better if I just don’t think about it.” Hart sighed. Had Bicky, in a single and unlikely courageous act, not saved Gil from probable extinction at the hand of a man whom Hart had at one time considered to be his close friend and ally, things would be vastly different right now. For the past week, Hart had struggled to redefine his relationships with both men, but the matter was too close, the parameters too large, so he filed it under the category of Life’s Mysteries and Conundrums, the kind that need time and space for disentanglement. Kori’s yelp roused Hart from his reverie.
“Aaaah, your feet are cold,” she said. Jack rubbed his bare feet against Kori’s calf. After a few seconds of squirming, she wrapped both her legs around them.
“God, I love you,” Jack said, nuzzling Kori’s neck. “I come to you with cold feet and you embrace them.” He hugged her to him and whispered in her ear, “I really love you.”
“I love you, too,” Kori whispered back.
“No, I mean I really love you,” Jack said. “Really, really love you.”
Kori poked Jack in the ribs and he grabbed both her hands. She squirmed free just as Gil came running down the stairs, Max barking in his wake.
“I had a dream,” he said, jumping up and down. “I had a dream.” He stopped in the center of the room and did a little jig. Max jumped around Gil’s feet, barking until Gil picked him up by the front paws and danced with him.
Hart stared at Gil and Max, a smile gracing his lips. Drawn by the commotion, Aunt Stella waddled into the room.
“What was it?” Kori asked, sidling up next to Gil. Used to the last week’s worth of uber-mothering, Gil stopped his little dance and raised his face to Kori so she could feel his forehead with her chin. “No fever,” she said and shrugged.
“He’s alive,” Gil said. Robbie’s alive.”
Aunt Stella covered her mouth and folded into an armchair. Kori yelped as if she’d been poked and dropped to her knees. “Tell me.”
Avery joined Kori on the floor and Gil sat down next to them, wrapping his good arm around Max’s neck to keep him still.
“He’s someplace with a lot of water.”
“Water? Iraq’s a desert,” Jack said.
Gil shrugged and ran his closed lips back and forth over his teeth. He looked at Jack.
“Ssshhhh,” Kori said to Jack. “More,” she said to Gil.
“Well, there was a desert in the background, but there was so much water everywhere that I’m just not sure.” He scratched at Max’s ears and drifted off, back toward the dream.
“More,” said Kori.
“Robbie was wearing a robe and one of those head thingees,” Gil said, rubbing Max’s wide side. “And the people traveled by boat. Well, really by these little canoes. And they used poles instead of paddles to move the canoe through the water.”
“Interesting,” Hart said. He assessed Gil with his brilliant hazel eyes before typing something into the computer.
“More,” Kori said. Her eyes didn’t leave Gil’s face.
Gil thought for a moment, his mouth animated, his eyes and nose scrunched in concentration. “Oh yeah. He was digging a hole. He was using a little shovel and this long cylindrical thingee that was open at the top and bottom and some of the sides.”
“An auger?” Jack asked. Gil shrugged. Aunt Stella sat, fanning herself with a dishtowel.
“Got it,” Hart said. “Is this what you saw?” He turned the laptop’s screen toward Gil who jumped up and ran over to look at it.
“That’s it! That’s it!” Gil said.
“Where is that?” Avery asked. Everyone leaned in to peer at the screen.
“That, is the Fertile Crescent,” Hart said. “It’s in southern Iraq. And if you believe the bible, this is where civilization got its first leg up.”
“Wow,” Gil said.
“Are you sure that’s where he is?” Kori asked.
Gil nodded. “Looks exactly like it.”
“So how do we find him?” Kori asked.
“Depends. He might not want to be found,” Jack said. “He’s supposed to be dead, remember?”
“Which means…” Kori said.
“…that he faked his own death,” Avery finished.
“He doesn’t want to see us anymore,” Kori said, a crack in her voice.
“No. It’s not like that. He’ll come back,” Gil said. “When he’s done.” Gil nodded his head with enthusiasm.
Kori gave Hart a look which he interpreted as a need for deliverance.
“I’ll put feelers out,” Hart said. “See what I can come up with. I do have some contacts in Iraq….”
“Is that safe?” Jack asked.
“I’ll be discreet,” Hart said. He looked to Kori. “Okay?”
“Okay,” she said, hugging him so hard he yelped. She ran over to Aunt Stella whose eyes appeared to be leaking then floated back to her spot on the recliner.
Avery grabbed Gil by the shoulders and looked into his eyes. “You sure?” Gil nodded assent. Avery pulled Gil to his chest and let out a long, haggard breath.
“Of course he’s sure. He’s a visionary,” Hart said, smiling. “Okay,” Hart said. “Now — Gil. You feeling up to a little work?” He patted the seat next to him.
“Sure,” Gil said, and flopped down on the couch.
Hart smiled and gave Gil a brief hug, avoiding the sling. Gil, startled by the gesture, sat very still for a moment before awkwardly patting Hart on the back.
“I give you four stars,” Gil said, looking pleased with himself.
“Who? Hart?” Jack asked. “Why does he get four stars?”
Gil looked at Hart with complete admiration in his eyes. “He just does. And if he moves in with us for good, I’ll give him four and a half.”
Hart cleared his throat, blinked his eyes and stared at the screen, suddenly at a loss for words. Gil leaned against him on the pretense of following Hart’s gaze.
“Okay,” Gil said, “show me what you got.”
Let’s do a time check. Persephone is trapped underground with Hades, thanks to her bad dad, Zeus. It could be that Seph is throwing Skadi around like she means it because she’s had enough. Meanwhile, Kali is getting her party started; making chaos and burning down crops. Athena’s itching for a fight. . .and guess what? It’s ladies’ night, and we have a front row seat.
Are we having climate change fun yet? here’s what we know for sure:
The instability of the climate means rapid changes unlike anything history has demonstrated. Wildfires, heat waves, polar vortexes, flash floods, and droughts are just some of the lovely surprises that climate change has in store for us. It’s all about balance, sustainability, inconsistent consistency, the latter which is what normal weather is like — fickle, but not spiteful. Here in PA, just the extra snow days alone have drained local snow removal coffers. Imagine getting hit with monster, successive storms. Think Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, back-to-back. Who’s going to clean up the mess, rebuild, pay for the damage?
It will take a firm commitment. If we threw more than a few bucks at green infrastructure and got some big thinkers and visionaries working on long-range solutions, maybe we could gain some ground. Instead we’re shrinking funds for alternative technologies – the fusion budget has been cut so the U.S. is no longer the world leader in that regard – even as we continue to provide corporate welfare to Big Oil and Gas. Do the oil companies really need that extra money when they are already turning record profits? I wonder, could I get a tax break if I drilled a hole in my back yard and said I was looking to strike oil?
We can’t win this one, kids. Really. After all the damage, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis, and 50 degree evenings in July, we’ve still got people
saying screaming that climate change is bad science. The Earth was here before and she’ll be here long after we’re gone. We all know the truth. It’s time for an intervention. We can help Mother Nature deal with her issues, by dealing with ourselves. We are her issues. The government is not going to save us. Neither are the aliens, in case you were holding out hope, or even just wondering. The only ones who can save us are us, but not until most of us get our collective heads out of our b… I mean, the sand. It’s time to do what we do best as a country — solve problems, innovate, lead so others might follow. The payoff, as if saving the planet and ourselves wasn’t enough, is that there’s a heck of a lot of money to be made in green technology, but first we need to cure our CCD.
Kali called; she wants her Gaia back. She’ll do what it takes, so strap on your Teflon pantyhose honey. Even if we stop abusing the planet now, she’s already warmed up and the punch she’s packing is gonna be a gobsmacker. Here are a few fun facts about changing weather patterns that might just be relevant:
Fact: While global temperature has increased about 1.4% over the last millennium, we are currently heading toward an unthinkable rise of between 2 and 12 degrees by the year 2100.
Fact: An increase of 2 degrees F will result in a 5-15% crop reduction; 3-10% increase in rainfall during heavy rainfall events (increasing flooding risk); a 5-10% decrease in stream flow in some river basins; and a 200-400% increase in wildfires.
Fact: Experiencing extra snowy winters doesn’t mean climate change isn’t real. Rather, the increased water vapor in the atmosphere results in increased precipitation, a Catch 22.
Fact: In the last millennium and a half, global sea level has risen about 9 inches and is expected to rise 1.5 to 3 feet by 2100. The increase in sea level will force coastal dwellers from their homes, maybe permanently, and if that happens, what the heck will it do to Manhattan?
we’re parched here on the west coast. . .and regardless of rhetoric and resource politics, one thing seems clear: extreme weather is the new normal.