Under The Radar

Just looking for some good news, but nooooooooooo

In Superman 2, the main villain (Colonel Zod from Krypton, I think) says "I grow weary of you earth people." Well something like that; I'm not really inclined to look it up though I'm sure it's on the Web somewhere.

That's how I've felt about blogging in the last couple of months. Politics and the state of the world is not a particularly optimistic topic these days, at least not as I see it. And I find, more often than not, that the real news flies under the radar. That's my catchphrase this week, "under the radar." You really do have to look a little bit behind the news, which fixates on people and showbiz, to get a picture of what's really going on.

Global Warning
I've been concerned with climate change since the 80s. Really. I wrote a song in about '85 called Greenhouse Effect. As a government, as a race, as a species, we excel in denial, exploitation, and putting things off until the last minute. So this article, saying that the arctic ice cap is melting much faster than even the most dire scientific projection, is pretty scary. We're now 30 years ahead of projections... the oceans at the top of the world may be devoid of ice in the summers by 2020, instead of 2050. With that, the global oceans will rise (melted ice), the climate will change, animals will disappear and it will be a pretty different world. There have been a slew of articles about all of this; I don't know who pays attention. I do know that I'll be 64 in 2020. I would have been 94 in 2050. How old will you be? How old will your kids be? For the first time in my life, maybe I'm kind of glad I don't have any kids.

Well, global warming, or whatever you want to call it, will have some interesting consequences. There will be new political pressures for water and dwindling resources. Some scientists say that animals will evolve to cope, and new microclimates will develop--the likes of which this planet has never seen. Maybe it's fortunate that scientists have recently discovered probable stores of liquid and frozen water on Mars and a new potentially habitable planet out of this solar system. And where there's one in the universe, there are probably thousands or millions. More planets for us to trash, if we get there.

And interestingly enough, nations--the US, Canada, Russia, and some of the Nordic countries--are poised to take advantage of global warming by staking out their territory at the top of the world so they can drill for yet more oil to further worsen the situation. We don't learn. There is also a battle for new northern shipping lanes, which have been frozen throughout our history but are now quickly thawing. The sunny side, so to speak, is that you'll be able to get from one side of the world to another much more quickly by boat. If there's anything to get to or from.

This Give Me Hives!
While we're under the radar, this story is befuddling scientists more than global warming because it has come out of nowhere and is ominously mysterious. You probably never think about it (certainly I never have) but honeybees are critical to our food chain. They pollinate flowers, but they also pollinate the bulk of the crops we eat--including fruits and vegetables, and the crops our animals eat. And for some reason, honeybees are dying off at an unprecedented rate. They are, in fact, just disappearing. They're not in their hives. Sort of like an X-Files episode. Scientists have a name for it (they have a name or acronym for everything these days): colony collapse disorder. But little clue why it's happening nor what to do about it. Hate to be an alarmist but....

Votes or Guns?
Okay, so back to our little provincial government and all the squabbling that gets us nowhere, except sinking this empire lower and lower. I bookmarked an article a few weeks ago, because it showed what our highly-paid government officials are up to. The Democrats in the House of Representatives have been trying to give representation to Washington, DC . It is not a state and thus has no Representatives nor Senators (not that many of us really seem to be represented anyway these days), even though it is home to about half a million people. In fact, according to the AP link, that city is the only national capital in the democratic world without a vote. The White House and many Republican officials oppose giving the district a vote, arguing that the Constitution limits representation to states only. Maybe so; I'm not in a position to argue that. I do, however, bristle at the fact the powers that be (thirsty, always, it seems for new power) would specifically argue to deny representation--or at least the illusion of it--to half a million people. (Assumedly, many of these people would vote Democratic.) To keep the proposal from passing, Republicans saddled it with one of their pet interests--lifting a ban on semi-automatic weapons in that city. Kind of like the weapons that recently killed more than 30 students at Virginia Tech. Is this in the best interest of the public?

Oh, did I not mention the Iraq war today? As nasty as it is, it seems sort of inconsequential, looking at everything else.

I'm a rock and roll guy (see my recent music posts) but right now I feel like listening to Sinatra and having a cocktail. Or a couple of them. And flying under the radar myself... Does this explain why I don't write new blog entries as often as I used to? Where's my drink?

Posted: Wed - May 2, 2007 at 07:15 PM