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Entry #2,541

Supposedly, today will be a little cooler than yesterday. Here in Providence, the temperature reached about 87F. That was Outside. Inside the House, the temperature reached 86F and stayed there for several hours after sunset.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,459 words on "Tidal Forces." I wrote one of the few intentionally frightening scenes I've ever written. I realized, as I began it, that I meant it to be frightening, and I didn't shy away from my intent. This story will be included in Sirenia Digest #55. I think it has a sort of Theodore Sturgeon meets Shirley Jackson feel, but I might be mistaken.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Some stuff we've not auctioned in a while, including a copy of Trilobite: The Writing of Threshold, which I don't think we've auctioned in years. Thanks.

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Yesterday was Litha, Summer Solstice, but we did not go to the sea. I simply could not bring myself to do it. The continuing BP/Deepwater Horizon disaster has made me increasingly reluctant to face the sea. And yesterday, it came down to a story about BP stopping boats that had been dispatched to rescue Kemp's Ridley sea turtles from the oil, about the boats being turned away by BP, who then set the oil ablaze, knowingly burning turtles alive. My anger and guilt and sorrow has surpassed my ability to articulate these emotions. Yesterday, at first I thought we would go to Moonstone beach and spend the evening cleaning plastic debris off the beach. But then I thought about the gasoline we'd have to use to go there and back, forty-five minutes or so each way. Could we possibly pick up enough plastic to justify the gallons of gasoline we'd burn to get there, the CO2 and other emissions, the oil? In my head, I went round and round and round. So we stayed home. There's no way not to be complicit in the present worldwide "petrocalamities," from the Gulf of Mexico to the Niger Delta. Every time I flip a light switch, or brush my teeth, or go to the market, I am a part of the problem. Sitting here writing this blog entry on a computer composed primarily of petroleum byproducts, a computer that was shipped to the store where I bought it using gasoline and oil and diesel (and I drove to the store), a computer run on electricity generated (at least in part) by the burning of fossil fuels, blogging while I sit in a mostly plastic chair...I am part of the problem. And the only way out of the problem, in truth, the thing that no one wants to believe, is to bring about a world with drastically fewer people. To stop having babies. But that's not going to happen, not ever by choice— because we are greedy and lazy, selfish and ignorant —until the compounded actions of humanity and limitations of the biosphere force it to happen.

The US uses more oil than any other nation on earth, something like 20 million barrels per day, with China lagging a distant second with about 7 million barrels per day.

And, for me, it all comes down to sea turtles being burned alive.

Comments

( 13 comments — Have your say! )
robyn_ma
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:11 pm (UTC)
'And the only way out of the problem, in truth, the thing that no one wants to believe, is to bring about a world with drastically fewer people. To stop having babies.'

Zero population growth has been a concept since at least 1693. The biological imperative dies hard.

We are, as Bill Hicks put it, a virus with shoes. The planet is building up an immunity to us, and it'll be over sooner than anyone is ready for.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)

We are, as Bill Hicks put it, a virus with shoes. The planet is building up an immunity to us, and it'll be over sooner than anyone is ready for.

A virus with shoes, and cars, and airplanes...and yes.
egologic
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
I think you should go ahead and go to the beach. And see the ocean or pick up plastic or whatever feels right for you. This is not a problem any one individual can solve or fix. This is something that we will all live or die by so it's something we have to do as a nation.

Don't feel guilty. Feel angry. We didn't make the world. Generation upon generation did this. All we can do is our best to change the world. If you can channel guilty feelings to do something constructive, then fine. Otherwise I think anger might be more potent. In either case we need to educate ourselves and each other (and we already know there are those among us who will resist).

We have more of a chance to step back and view the problem than the people who live along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico who've had their livelihoods destroyed. Their problems are more immediate and much more personal.
greygirlbeast
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:15 pm (UTC)


Don't feel guilty. Feel angry. We didn't make the world. Generation upon generation did this.


I do not choose to feel guilt, and there's no way I can choose not to feel. And guilt is no less constructive an emotion than anger (and my anger is almost bottomless).

There is no fixing this problem. There will never be effective activism. The population crash will not be voluntary.
ex_kaz_maho
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:35 pm (UTC)
Theodore Sturgeon meets Shirley Jackson feel

I am so there! :)
mellawyrden
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
YES and between the massive dead zones being created in the sea, and the rising sea levels, the jellyfish will come and get us, just as I have always nightmared about.

One person could solve this problem, if they can invent some way not to disperse the oil, but to solidify it into one solid mass all the way down to the source. The solution lies in the mind of a new Einstein for the petroleum age. I think a solidifying chemical or organism must exist.
alvyarin
Jun. 22nd, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
I wish I could remember the article title and find it for you (and if I do, I'll link it) but the other day a radio dj was speaking about a recent article in which scientists, based on some study, predicted that men the world over would have less and less potent sperm in the next few generations. Meaning there will be less and less babies. I guess it was a drastic enough reduction in baby-making sperm that the scientists who conducted the study were honestly worried about whether humans would be able to continue populating the earth.

As an animal nut, the sea turtle story upsets me in ways I cannot even begin to express.
whiskeychick
Jun. 23rd, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
I've been in mourning for more than a week. It took me a while to realize where the foundation of the emotion was coming from. Like you, I can't face the sea -- and I love to go by it nearly daily (I do a lunchtime walk by the Puget Sound a few times a week). I go back to what my dear friend told me -- the whole think globally, act locally. I continue to do my part here. I can't plug the hole. I've screamed at my leaders for years. They don't listen. All I can do is try to live the best I can.
But, I believe I'll be in mourning for a long time to come.
bbluemarble
Jun. 23rd, 2010 02:43 am (UTC)
The thing that pisses me off the most are the people that don't seem to understand the seriousness of the situation. Because when the end comes it won't be in a Hollywood-style explosion of hellfire and death, it will be in an insidious toxin that corrupts everything it touches. It will be slow and it will be subtle and no one will know what it is as it's happening but many years later when they look back, they will say "Yes, then. That's when it began."

Do anything you can think of that will help in any way you see fit. Worship your goddess. Cover yourself in tattoos dedicated to her.
spank_an_elf
Jun. 23rd, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Yes indeed
Tonight while watching a report on the Gulf I started crying and when I looked at my partner, she was in the same dismal condition. And to think there's agents of evil out there beginning to side with BP. Using the political situation to their financial advantage even when they are supposedly serving the public. I say stuff them in the well. Their gigantic greed might clog the flow.

We try for energy efficiency. We own one creaky air conditioner for an ancient 11 room house and only use it to keep the bunnies safe in the living room when the heat soars. They can't take off their fur. But yes, we need to drive. We communicate through computers. It sucks. We care but like you said we're part of the problem. Hey, fuck, at least we're not contributing to over population.

What about the people in China and Brazil dying in floods? Maybe it's time for the planet to kick us off. I wouldn't blame her.

Sorry for the rant.

sovay
Jun. 23rd, 2010 04:48 am (UTC)
I think it has a sort of Theodore Sturgeon meets Shirley Jackson feel, but I might be mistaken.

I hope you're not.

To stop having babies. But that's not going to happen, not ever by choice— because we are greedy and lazy, selfish and ignorant —until the compounded actions of humanity and limitations of the biosphere force it to happen.

Oh, but it's our God-given right. There is no such thing as a God-given limitation, unless it is on the rights of others.

And, for me, it all comes down to sea turtles being burned alive.

Yes.
papersteven
Jun. 23rd, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)
>There is no such thing as a God-given limitation, unless it is on the rights of others.

Well said.
moto_chagatai
Jun. 23rd, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Environ-mental
I don't let the actions of others decide the actions I personally make to help the Earth. I saved a fledgling sparrow yesterday, is that act lessened by the fact that I also drove to work? The sparrow I think, would see the trade-off as O.K. We (individuals) can only do what we can do. My wife and have no children and no intention of, we recycle, we limit out driving and look for fuel effeciency. We do all we can and wait for others to do all they can..or die off, whichever comes first.
( 13 comments — Have your say! )