Life on the Loop
I’ve been troubled more than a few times, actually every time I filled up, that my Great Loop adventure was fueled by hundreds of gallons of gas, a finite source of energy that the human race will have to eventually give up. Exactly when is a matter of conjecture though climate change certainly says the sooner, the better. Regardless, we’ve already used up most of the easily recoverable oil in the 150 years or so that we’ve been using the stuff – a mere blip in the human timeline, and an infinitesimal blip in the earth’s timeline.
Greta Thunberg’s sail to her New York United Nations appointment with destiny, which happened the day after I crossed my wake, added new meaning to my feeling of guilt. If you want to stick your head in the sand about climate change, it’s probably best to just keep it there and not read on. If you want to debate whether climate change is natural or manmade, your great, great, great grandchildren really won’t care – they’ll just be cursing your grave over why you didn’t do more to stop it.
If you say that you really don’t care what your grandchildren say or think, I question your soul. If you think it’s not up to you to help preserve our beautiful earth for the future, I question your religion, among other things.
It’s depressing to think that the human race has little chance to exceed the lifespan of the dinosaurs. Actually, we have little chance of surviving a tenth of it – the Age of the Dinosaurs is measured in millions, not thousands of years.
I’ve pretty much kept politics out of my stories, only occasionally using indisputable quotes from Donald Trump when they fit a story. Like most Loopers, I value Looper civility well above politics. And regardless what side you fall on, we’ll get over today’s divisiveness, eventually. The John Adams-Thomas Jefferson election is still the standard for political debauchery. But even they made up and became close friends, thanks mainly to Abigail – each thinking on their same day deathbed on July 4th, 1826 that at least the other lived to carry on.
But I care very much about my children and grandchildren. The real sin of the Trump presidency, the consequence of which will fall on them, is reversing what little progress we’ve made on climate change for highly questionable, short term economic gain. If that short term or the ‘America First’ attitude prevails, the eventual day of reckoning for either running out of oil or climate change will make today’s divisiveness seem like kindergarten play. America, and indeed the world, must work together and look beyond the end of our nose if the human race, or indeed the earth, is to survive.
I can only hope that my stories might contribute to a more civil discourse and better tolerance of others' positions, beliefs and contributions, an absolute necessity, but only the beginning if we’re going to meet the technical challenge of running out of oil, much less saving the earth. A better knowledge and appreciation of those whose footsteps we follow would help. That’s not much for the amount of gas I used, but it helps me sleep a little bit better.