Saturday, March 03, 2012
I'm warm again
I'm still thinking about the art performance last night, enough so to request roasted red potatoes for dinner this evening. I keep ruminating about being at the center of that human conveyer belt. We were supposed to become a human machine, only rejoining community by turning to each other at the end. Meeting each other's eyes and returning to our humanity again. But the unexpected thing that happened was that we were all humans inside of the machine.
The whole night, I couldn't help but be connected to the people around me, every time my fingers brushed theirs. Every time my eyes sought the glove to my right, every time my movements slowed to allow for hers, or I noticed, in my peripheral vision, her motion shift and take off in an exquisite new direction, an elegant hand-flip as she arced her potato. We were human inside of the machine.
Climate change has been haunting me over the last several months, punctuated by the tornadoes last night, this time over Chattanooga where my parents live. I know climate scientists reject such neophyte associations, but no one's talking about the extreme weather patterns, and how they just keep getting more extreme. It was clear in the Bahamas, it's clear here in Maine, it's clear in Tennessee. It's clear everywhere, but we're all blindfolded, handing our dollars to the gas tank, as slow as the sunrise.
The problem is that no one believes in science. Nor does anyone understand how it works anymore, how even Newtonian physics, the bedrock of the Industrial Revolution, is nothing more than a theory, a theory that Einstein disproved. Gravity is just a theory, and this is because proof isn't something science does. Nevertheless, science works, perfectly, as a method of distinguishing between good theories and bad theories, as proven by the brushed-steel machine I'm typing on right now, by the cell phone in your pocket, by the television in your living room, all of which are based on quantum mechanics. Just a theory, but one that works really well.
What science does is establish correlation, collect evidence. And the correlation between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming is as clear as any. The evidence is irrefutable. By the time they have proof, we'll all be dead.
So what am I saying? It's the same as inside of that human conveyer belt. I'm a human inside of the machine of carbon emissions. I want to break free of the circle, to look at the people on either side of me and yell, scream—let's change things. Let's do something, anything. So why don't I? I'm too afraid, too poor, too lazy. As are the rest of you whose gloved fingers graze mine.