The needs of today overpowering the fears of tomorrow.

 

It would cost about 3Gs for my trip of choice this summer. The flight to Teahupo’o at the end of July, a week in a bungalow on the beach and tickets to the Olympic surfing competition. Possible? Sure, but doubtful. More likely will be a stop off at Steamers Lane in Santa Cruz after a day in Soledad Prison (doing an art project, Life On Art, with inmates). Such is life.

 

My final in Physical Science this year was a simple explanation of which sustainable energy students think will dominate the future. Solar? Hydro? Wind? Hydrogen? Nuclear? Dance floor energy? My ADD brain was scrolling through the NY Times while I gave students 20 minutes to write as I read a story of a certain bully baby who apparently promised the oil industry that he would unwind all of those silly regulations around fossil fuels and drill baby drill if he is elected in November.

 

“Cancel all unnecessary energy-killing regulations and open up more federal lands. Energy efficient and water saving appliances are a scam. Wind energy doesn’t work and kills bald eagles.” Ugh. More of the same will not move us forward.

 

Scientists are now warning that the air turbulence that killed one and nearly downed a plane plus tornados that are predicted to be the worst ever are a direct result of the jet stream becoming increasingly volatile due to the warming of the oceans and the planet caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

 

It’s enough to make a teacher give up. But, of course, that’s not happening and as students turn in their answers (Solar is the big winner-cheaper, easier, more available) I wonder what a high school class in Florida would answer. Haven’t they read the predictions that they will be submerged by 2100?

 

“34 out of 34, a perfect score, really excellent score, even in a democratic sham trial I scored a perfect score.” My colleague is walking around playing the air accordian, doing an awesome bully baby impersonation.

 

Really, convicted of 34 felonies leads to an increase in donations and a bump in the polls?!? The system is broken, and when did hating America become fashionable? Yes, things are a little messy but things work out, if you work on them of course.

 

And did we really think the trials and felonies were going to change things? Remember the “shooting someone on 5th avenue” comment? Yes, 34 felonies shows kinda that the judicial system works but kinda not. But, let’s get back to the environment because, well, it is the base of the pyramid and all that.

 

The good news is that since I wrote, “Plastic is making your penis smaller.” In October of 2016 people have taken notice and realized that our increase in estrogen through plastic phthalates has become a real problem and what have we done with this real problem? Why stopped using plastics of course.

 

Yeah, that’s not true although Boyen Slat is having some success with the Ocean Cleanup Project which now includes not just the Great Pacific Garbage Patch but netting a number of rivers where plastic pollution comes from. Yes, more of that but also aren’t we in charge of us and if something poses a direct threat to our planet, shouldn’t we change it?

 

Yes, but as I’ve said before, it’s all about the Benjamins and the reason I don’t have solar panels on my roof which power my electric car and appliances is that I don’t have a spare 20 grand sitting around and my day to day happiness is more important than a theoretical future of warm ocean problems.

 

Plus, don’t I deserve to go watch surfing in Teahapo’o? Of course I do and so, once again, the needs of today overpower the fears of tomorrow.

 

But can we get a little help here? Where are the next gen Boyens and Gretas and what will it take to turn my students into eco-warriors? Leadership is the obvious answer but when our leaders are too busy doing whatever our leaders are doing (mostly focusing on how to keep their leaderly jobs) the system is simply broken.

 

I’ve had a recent realization that we need a leader of leaders who guides the world leaders into promoting choices which will ensure that my grandkids kids will be able to see elephants in their natural habitat. And since that leader of leaders does not exist, the people have to lead which is tough especially when the people are already dealing with wars and rising costs and death, not to mention the 7 hours per day that the average person spends scrolling and watching.

 

Hmm, if only there was a solution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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