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A Leap into the present.

The terrifying known unknown.

Living with the political scene of early 2020 leaves me speechless and then some. It is a mayhem of playground bullying, name-calling, and policy clashing that is an ignorant dismissil of what creation has created.

The president is ignorant of virtually everything and serves the wealthy. This is putting us on the track for an uninhabitable planet.

It is a mystery that has dogged fighting global warming from the beginning. If there is money to be made, nothing else matters. Ignornance of life’s better side contributes, but history shows that money rules. The major contributions to emission are doing far less than necessary and Japan is building about 20 coal fired power plants.

An argument is made that saving the climate will cost the current economy too much. And of course eventually leave us with no economy at all.

Emissions are increasing whereas the red line for 2°C is plunging. The Paris Accords were ostensibally targeting 1.5°C and that is now virtually impossible. 2.0°C is unlikely. Over 2°C has been described as “horrible.” Yet our president is dismanteling the EPA, and few if any nations with significant emissions are doing much about it. Japan is apparently building 20 or more coal fired power plants.

What in blazes is going on? One would think humanity is committing suicide.

“Make America Great Again”

To make America great ”again” she had to have been great once and perhaps she was during the two great wars, where she saved the world.

But ”again” from a man who does not understand the meaning of “great,” “compassion,” and “caring.”

Donald Trump understands nothing but bullying, calling people names, making deals, defaulting on loans and having people lick his boots.

Donald Trump is an empty man. Donald Trump followers are suckers, they are taken in. Evangelicals will settle for nothing from him but give him everything.

The Man Without A Reflection

The most important thing a person can do is to reflect, to examine their thoughts, attitudes, feelings, to look in the mirror so to speak, and I imagined our president looking in the mirror and I realized he would see nothing, for there would be nothing to see. No rationality, intelligence, no honesty. But I had missed something. He looked down and he could see his shining, glistening boots, for those were the one part of him that reflected. And his modus operandi was simple: lick his boots and you get called “PERFECT.” Not praised for good thinking, a knowledge filled mind. Just a name.

But if boot licking was not your thing, you were tatooed with a round of insults. Not criticism, just insults. And given the boot for he had many more all still shiny ready for a licken.

The president also throws hand grenades and looks over the pieces, or rather lets others look, and if one shines it becomes an accomplishment.

He walks with a backpack filled with 4x5 cards with likes and dislikes written on them spilling out for anyone to pick up, and those that have been taken for suckers look to find a card with something they like, no matter if the one next to it says the opposite. They have found what they wanted and become part of the “base.”

It is an odd way of giving a speech.

The first I heard from The Donald was “I’ve been hearing things.” No evidence just a black and white hint about the “birther” issue. Courage to take on an issue on its merits. Never heard of such a thing. Don’t need them to make a deal.

Destroying democracy is just for starters, there is a whole world out there to destroy and he has a running start and I suspect since he has no clue about what global warming means, he can just waddle on for the only person that could have the stature, resources, and leadership qualities would be a great president of the United States. But we have looked in his mirror too, and we know what is down the road.


I have worked on this site for over two years. The TOC above will give a number of links to various topics I have tried to write about that seemed relevant at the time. Below the triple red lines are left overs. What was more and more essential to happen as time has gone by has not happened. In fact, the situation is gettng worse by the day. None of the presidental candidates seems prepared and able to take on climate change with the ferocity it requires and should Donald Trump get re-elected the only options left are luck and prayer. I am burned out, have nothing more to add and other work to do. If you are curious go to lightsongfineart.com



I have struggled to answer the question of what is Life (capital L) for years and it has illuded me.

Not too long ago, as I describe elsewhere on this site, I concluded that the purpose of life was joy, or its equivalent. This came about when I couldn’t derive anything from the big bang and instead said to myself, let’s reverse engineer this thing. That was not possible but it led to a simple idea: what are the best experiences I have had and what do they add up to. In other words, how far has the big bang taken us. There are an infinity of possible examples, but at this moment these are two that cut through. The most emportant was experiencing the joy my son Greg was showing me after conquering one of the large number of obstacles an adopted boy with ADHD had to overcome, and there were many. And so the idea was that one of the things that made me happy was experiencing someone else’s joy, especially when I could share a piece of it and perhaps share it with my wife. There seems to be joy in another’s joy.

Another time was when my wife Susan and I discovered a pianist we had not known before and we experienced music in a way that, in retrospect, we never thought possible. And then watching him and listening to him a short time ago play a Chopin ballade, I wondered how this transcendent beauty could have existed in the big bang, for as far as I know, everything began, in a sense if not literally at that instant. So I concluded that the universe is rigged. If we keep our eyes, ears, and our persons open amazing things happen, and of coursse an infinite number more than the two I just mentioned.

But this is certainly an isolated but common expeerience.

The earth was made for us.

There may be others, but we do not know of any
that embody all the whims our bodies and minds need.

Gestation for the earth was four plus billion years and about the same for us. A long time? It all depends on which clock you are watching. Its creation was the epic of epics. However, it seems some multi-tasking was in order, for while the earth was evolving we were evolving.

The earth has been trampled, fracked, strip mined, deforested, drilled, pipe-lined, torn asunder, polluted, poisoned, over populated, and generally decimated. And that was before global warming. It is now being burned, overheated, flooded, its homes crushed by hurricanes and cyclones, dried out, every possible drop of oil and liter of gas extracted, millions of tons of coal removed all to line pockets or, in technical terms, increase stockholder equity. Its ice and snow are melting, coastal cities are being flooded, water supplies are drying up. It is becoming less of a good place to live. And this is just beginning.

The great mystery of civilization is the nature of humanity, how it can be brilliant enough to discover where the universe, the earth and humanity itself came from yet be blind enough to destroy it. (Check the link above to see how shareholder equity propels Chase Manhatten and the rest to finance the destructon of the earth.) Humanity knows the joys of joining with other humans yet wars against others and kills without mercy.

Humans acquire great wealth and hord it, leaving just enough for poor workers to survive and serve them. As their wealth becomes greater, humans narrow their field of view to acquiring still greater wealth.

Something is wrong. It is incomprehensibe how much beauty, joy, destruction, and suffering humans have caused, created or motivated. But only a few that we know of were conscious of the landscape, the purple mountains majesty or the tumbling flowing rivers and how wonderful they were when prestine. Henry David Thoreau was one of the first and I photographed his back yard near Walden Pond and many other back yards that hosted the same spirits. But when I gave seminar/lectures to at the summmer meetings of the Thoreau Socity there seemed to be no more interest then elsewhere.

I presume that the earth seems to each of us permanent. Stable, returning day after day and year after year in about the same form and color and temperature. We do, I suppose take it for granted. But that time is passed. I photographed with a view camera and 4" x 5" film. Twenty-thousand sheets over twenty-eight years. All the seasons, but never where other photographers had their cameras out, or rather they never came when I had mine out.

I found my images so nearby that if you looked stright ahead you missed them, because they were at your feet. Or they were adjacent to guardrails on high-speed highways. I called my work The Hidden World of the Nearby. So where I looked and my expectations were everything and I looked everywhere and expected nothing in particular and found untended gardens.

I am now 78 and as I look back over my life, since I was a child I wanted to understand. Until this millinium it was a passing and passive desire while I shared unbelieveable fortune and joy among my struggles. But early this century it all came crashing down when I discovered the unchecked damage a changing climate was causing and that humanity was the cause of the limate change. And then in a jolt as if by lightening I realized that the path ahead led to an uninhabitable planet.

So I have tried to switch my focus to context, a portion of what should have been taught in the classroom. We need to overcome our tunnel vision and our tunnel morality. There is a term for this: it is reciprocity. The general trend I blieve will be the higher the income, the less appreciation there will be for the golden rule, which is in the western world the same as reciprocity.

Ironically I view the meaning of life in terms of beauty, be it music, fine art, or the gentle process of getting to know someone unlike yourself. Members of our own tribe have the same tunnel vision as we do. I think we all would be surprised if we got to the place where the cashiers, store clerks, hamberger flippers, and all the “servants“ that do not live in our quarters but are desperate for a sztisfying life. In a recent issue of the New York Atigaile Disney revels her experience of realizing the stress of coming short $500 every month to raise one child and not be homeless.

Joy is the meaning of life, and if you tell me that landing one billion more than your competitors makes you happy, they you should go to an ashrom and study the meaning of happiness.

A Risky Perch: Playing on the Edge of Victoria Falls (click on image)

I. The View From Here

On The Brink

If global warming is not out of control today, 01 01 2020, it will be soon. The heat from burning fossil fuels is melting enough tundra to release more carbon and methane so that global warming is now fueling itself. As the earth warms it makes more greenhouse gases and so it warms more. Additionally, less ice and less snow in the Arctic means less reflection of sunlight and more warming.

There will be arguments whether this “tipping point,” where the earth takes over its own warming, has been passed. If it hasn't it will very soon. Oil, coal and gas companies will see to it.

Humanity is not responding and actually seems unable to respond. If the Madrid conference can fail, it reveals a fundamental human failing, an isolation from nature that is killing civilization. Where revolution was necessary, the larger countries which are most critical to stopping warming, asked for concessions. This is beyond comprehension.

Figure 1 shows a red line going sharply down and a “business as usual” line going up. The contrast is dramatic. The Green New Deal is intended to close that gap.

However, it is already behind schedule and will require an incredible new American president to lead its acceptance and implementation. A bit like England defeating Hitler without American help.(more)


Caring For The Earth

How Much Is It Worth To Keep It?

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