Why I’m alone on my birthday… or, Feedback Loops In Global Climate Change Point To A Very Hot 21st Century

It’s a strange thing that I’ll be sitting alone as my family celebrates a couple June birthdays, mine included. I’m finding that as time goes on my ability to relate to my fellow humans, family included, dwindles. I’d like to blame it on Al Gore and his new movie but I can’t. Since 1989 I’ve been freaking out about climate change and with each passing year I have become more alarmed. At the moment I’m just about to pull all my hair out. But you know, my words were for nothing. The words of others were for nothing. Here we are 2006 and the signs are all around us.

We. Just. Don’t. Get. It.

We go on about our business and pretend nothing is wrong. But pretending does not change reality. Back to the point of why I sit alone tonight. While I may love my family out of obligation, I do not like the way they live their lives… and that goes for most of what I have seen of Americans. Perhaps it’s not my right to judge, that’s one way to frame it. Perhaps I’m being a selfish, judgmental, arrogant bastard. So be it.

How is it that you can have children and look them in the eye? Do you tell them its going to be okay? What other lies do you tell yourself and them so that you can bear each day. And what will you do when the day comes (and yes, it will be much sooner than you think) that you have to look them in the eye and tell them you are sorry?

I look around and I see supposed adults that act nothing of the sort. Where have all the adults gone? Just a bunch of irresponsible, gotta have my fun and entertainment teenagers. It’s okay to be a teenager when you are a teenager. But when you are an adult, when you begin having children, perhaps it’s time to grow up?

I cannot bear to look you in the face today. Is that harsh? Perhaps. But it is the truth. I cannot bear to look at your children whom you supposedly love. Perhaps I just don’t understand love because I don’t have any children… I’ve been told that before. It doesn’t matter. You’ll continue to do what you want to do. You will refuse to take any responsibility for your “life style”. You’ll continue to claim that you’d do anything for your children and that what you do on a daily basis is for your children. I think that’s just a convenient cover-up and in the end your children will suffer greatly. So keep living without thought or concern beyond your next purchase or home improvement. Run those mowers, mini-vans, and SUVS. Shop till you drop. Keep telling yourself how you have no choice.

Keep telling yourself you have no choice.

But don’t try to tell me because my ears won’t be there as often. I’d rather be alone and sane. Perhaps I’m a coward but I cannot bear to watch anymore… certainly not as often. It’s like looking at a car wreck and it hurts my brain. So if you don’t see me around, you know why. You can take it personally because it is personal.

One last thing. Someone recently told me that she feels guilty when she’s around me. I’ve heard that many times before and here’s my reply. Don’t feel guilty around me. This is not about me. Let me say that again, this is not about me. This is about you and your children or your grandchildren, you and your choices. So yes, please do feel guilty, you probably should. But it’s not about me. This is about you and your choices. Own it. Look it straight in it’s face and own it. But my guess is you won’t. You’ll shrug your shoulders and walk away. You’ll think to yourself, “Denny sure does have some problems.”

But do remember, you do have choices. Every single day you have choices. Every. Single. Day.

Here’s yet another article that the vast majority of the population will ignore. This one from ScienceDaily, Feedback Loops In Global Climate Change Point To A Very Hot 21st Century:

Studies have shown that global climate change can set-off positive feedback loops in nature which amplify warming and cooling trends. Now, researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have been able to quantify the feedback implied by past increases in natural carbon dioxide and methane gas levels. Their results point to global temperatures at the end of this century that may be significantly higher than current climate models are predicting.

Using as a source the Vostok ice core, which provides information about glacial-interglacial cycles over hundreds of thousands of years, the researchers were able to estimate the amounts of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the principal greenhouse gases, that were released into the atmosphere in response to past global warming trends. Combining their estimates with standard climate model assumptions, they calculated how much these rising concentration levels caused global temperatures to climb, further increasing carbon dioxide and methane emissions, and so on.

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6 thoughts on “Why I’m alone on my birthday… or, Feedback Loops In Global Climate Change Point To A Very Hot 21st Century

  1. Anonymous

    Dear Mr. Denny,

    I totally understand where you are coming from. But the thing is, if we really care as much as we say we do, shouldn’t we be out there doing something about it Instead of just isolating ourselves? We must lead by example and with passion if we expect others to pay attention. You rock, as always. Thanks for the blog.

    Peace brother

  2. Anonymous

    i watched a interview of gore about his new film. while it does get the message out it will give people the impression that you can have your cake and eat it too.
    oh and he is more concerned about political will then the actual problem, he said in the interview if he can change it he can solve it in less then ten years.

  3. denny

    hey, thanks for the comment. yes and no about the getting out there and doing something. lol. yes, we should but at the same time, getting out there involves burning gas. at least for me right now. when i lived in memphis it was a short distance to anywhere… when i lived in memphis i was very active… constantly. we did all sorts of things. now that i’m out here in the country my action is non-action. i have not driven in 3+ weeks. ultimately, thats what it comes down to doesn’t it? we must STOP DOING. as much as possible… extra trips that really are not necessary… unless they are done by solar power/charged electrical vehicles or bicycle.

    the thing that i see is people in PEAK activity. they go, go, go, go… it never stops. go, go, go, go, go, go, go…. work, shop, out to eat, work, here, there… constant. in the car, out of the car, in the car, out of the car. and when home lawnmowers, leaf blowers, weed eaters, lights left on, airconditioners, and on and on.

    and all of it with little to no thought about the choices… not that i can see.

    i think also, i’ve just gotten to a point 37 today, that i feel 95% of my talking/writing/communicating really has been for nothing. i’m fine with that, it’s what i’ve come to expect. but the result, if my voice really does not matter, even to those close to me, is that i will choose to stop speaking. why bother? perhaps it is a bad attitude, but it seems insane to continue with the same actions if, over time, they seem to produce the same non-results.

    so, at least for the moment, i think my example is to participate in non-action. to just be still… to reflect.

  4. denny

    about al gore and the film… bummer about that cake and eat it too. not good. it’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s one we will have to swallow even if it is forced down our throats. nothing about climate change or peak oil is going to be fun or entertaining.

    yeah, i’m glad he’s made the film… but i tend not to really trust him or anyone that is coming from that kind of background. glad he’s doing it… it’s better than nothing i suppose… funny thing, though, i agree with the notion that speed is of utmost importance. but the change, the solution, is drastic. a 10 year solution, which is probably what we need, is a drastic. we should have been moving on this 15-20 years ago. that we’ve waited this long means more pain, much more.

    americans (which is what i see every day so i won’t comment on others) don’t seem to have a clue. tell them to stop driving; tell them to car pool if they MUST drive; tell them to drive 55 and not 75; tell them to stop growing grass lawns that they mow every week; tell them to grow a garden… all these things and much more. they’ll look at you with a blank stare. you’ve become an insane person in their eyes and they will reject you.

  5. Josia

    Everyone in the world feels the way you do – they just are not as honest with themselves about it – we would all isolate ourselves from everyone else if we could – our egos have escalated to a point where it is unbearable to be together. That is also the reason for all the ecological problems – nature is in perfect harmony and our egos are the only thing distrubing the balance.

    There is a solution – being with a group of people that have a higher goal than the petty things we desire in this world. You want to be connected to those people no matter what – not because you like them necessarily but because you are aware that you can’t reach your goal on your own and that makes them your lifeline to advancement.

  6. Anonymous

    Thank God for walkers, gardeners, peace makers, and neighbors. If we all shrank from the demands of society we might have some room to grow into the demands of this earth. Denny, thank you for following your gut. I hope you are as satisfied as the prophet, the scientist, and the philosipher that goes unnoticed, save that one glorious eye of the collective unconsience. You are appreciated beyond your vision.

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