Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Life looks different through doom colored glasses. (See this post to understand why I'm sporting a pair.) Glasses of doom do not, as one might expect, have drab depressing tints. In fact, they are rather psychedelic, intensifying perceptions and emotions. Especially when you first start wearing them, especially when what is doomed is Life As We Know It and involves lots of people dying. (Of course, the numbers of people who die depends on how quickly we can get our act together on cutting emissions. And even if we all stop driving and switch off our computers right now there will be more "extreme weather events" that will kill people. The longer we keep the devices, the cars, and the appliances on, the more people will die.) Whatever the case, these glasses are so intense most people shut their eyes and/or perform all manner of mental tricks to get them off. That response is programmed into us and is one of the problems with getting people to face the reality of global warming; for the most part, we are highly skilled at ignoring the reality of our own mortality, a skill we (unconsciously) employ when predictions for this planet and its current life forms get too dire.

Of course not everyone shuns glasses of doom. In fact, they have a long, if not illustrious, history. Doomsday cults pre-date our current calendar. And circumstances have looked awfully dire on more than one occasion in history. I myself remember a fair amount of fretting about nuclear annihilation back when we used to worry about such things.

I can only hope I'm joining this ancient tradition. Which is to say, crying doom when none looms. But there is enough writing on the wall, and science to back it up, that I'm going to continue assuming the worst. Which leaves me indulging my kids a bit more, in addition to trying to shore up their immune systems and their resilience. If their lives are going to be tough, at the very least I want to give them lots of happy days to look back on.

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