Imagine there’s a video game, where the player must decide which tools to use to dig themselves out a hole without acknowledging that holes exist OR that the player is trapped in one and hence needs the tools. The point of the game (beyond your apparent need to never face 30 contiguous seconds of not looking at your phone) is to let players experience what it feels like to be a member of the House Science Committee:
Despite this reputation, the environment and energy subcommittees called four honest-to-God climate scientists to testify about one of the most controversial solutions to climate change: geoengineering. These technofixes, which could reflect sun back into space or draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, all with the intent to cool the planet, were front and center. Committee members were actually eager to hear about it and where the federal government could spend to help prop up research.
There was just one tiny problem: None of the Republicans could bring themselves to acknowledge that carbon dioxide is the root cause of climate change. Nor could they bring up that reducing carbon emissions is a way more proven and cost-effective avenue to address climate change. It was at once comical and damn terrifying.
Level three is when comical and damn terrifying meld into one confused emotion. Welcome to level three.
So… I’m contemplating getting rid of my parking sticker to become, for the second time, exclusively a walker/biker to work. There are a few different reasons for this, which shall remain obscured for the moment, but all of them are good. But even thinking about it seriously, where you consider a change in behavior and perhaps various alternative uses for a non-trivial yearly sum, you stumble onto all kinds of causation-related affinities for greater Bikedom. If you live in any place even remotely bicycle-friendly, reasons to give up the car are literally all around. And many of them wind up with reserved seats on the green-means-green continuum. To wit:
Spent the last fews days in extreme green seclusion, see photo above. One of the only undeveloped barrier islands on the Atlantic coast, Cumberland is decidedly outside of the 20th century framework. Not, however, outside that of the 19th or the 21st, and this may be worth pointing out.
Though it has no paved roads, retails shops, bridges, gas stations, restaurants and a strictly limited population of visitors, CI is not in its native state. It was clearcut in the 17th-18th century and planted with Sea Island cotton. So the massive maritime forests have grown up in the meantime and only appear to be ancient. The ruins of the plantations those cotton crops supported are only a sort of bonus homage to the imperial past the newer forests now shroud.
Not unrelatedly, today it has decent cellphone reception, a generous stash of bicycles in good working order, a climate suitable to many types of citrus fruit trees and sustenance gardening, ample sun, wind and tidal energy resources (all yet untapped, save for a little gardening) and few other distractions for the contemplative figuring-out of new energy sources, cures, sad songs, epic poems, etc. Of course, rising seas may alter the shoreline configurations in the future.
But still, for now, it exists as a kind of future past. Something to consider.