It's been a typical summer day around here, which is to say that the kids have pretty much killed every brain cell they have watching the "Jaws" marathon on HBO and/or texting their friends, and I haven't nagged them to go outside and DO something because it is 98 degrees out there. It is so hot that the minute you go outside you feel as if your lungs are scorched just from breathing the air. The only reason you don't burst into flames is that it is so unbearably muggy--and this is just one more unnaturally hot summer in a series of unnaturally hot summers in the past few years. I've lost count of the number of days it's been over 100. Anyway, in the afternoon we went to a movie downtown, which was nice because it was dark and cool there and it felt so much like playing hookey, and drove home through all those lovely upper northwest neighborhoods in D.C. where there are so many towering oaks--though not quite as many as there used to be, since the huge freak storm that came through here a week or so ago toppled more than a few of them. We were late getting home because the highway close to our house was closed off; it seems there had been an electrical transformer fire. I wondered if it had anything to do with the load on the electrical grid caused by all of us cranking up the AC.....But never mind: we got home and I sat down to catch up on my e-mail, and there was this link to an article in Rolling Stone about global warming that someone had sent me, which said that basically this is not a scientific debate; it is a problem of corporate greed. Corporations that are worth trillions of dollars because of the oil and coal and natural gas that's still in the ground have every incentive in the world to get those natural resources out of the ground and burn them--even if it fries the planet. We will all die, but we will die rich. Or at least some of us will. That was the gist of it. Essentially, it said, this is an economic and moral problem, and even if the article is incorrect in its math or unduly dire in its predictions, I believe that basically what it says is correct.
So I read it and I thought: I recycle, I try to conserve, I plant rain gardens and we have a rain barrel; we combine errands; we try to buy locally grown foods; we have solar panels on our house, for chrissake, although they are connected to the grid in such a way that when the grid goes down they don't do us any good--which is insane, but that's the way the utility companies are. We do our own little ineffectual bit, and I wonder almost daily: is this the way the apocalpyse arrives--in tiny little increments while we are watching the boob tube?