17 June 2011: If a House Fell on the House (the HR), Might They Listen?
Back in Huntsville, Alabama, in the early 1980s, Otto J. Nussbaum's patented solar-powered coffee cup warmer was displayed prominently at the Von Braun Space Center.
Who today uses one? It couldn't cost that much. I don't.
But I did contribute in other ways. Nussbaum was also a pioneer in installing solar panels on his home in sun-bathed Jones Valley, a former cow pasture. We all took lukewarm showers in the name of progress and promoting the use of non-polluting energy.
Thirty years later, less than one percent of energy consumed in this country is generated by solar power. Europe and China are way ahead of us in this area. Is is shameful. Al Gore has challenged us to generate 10 percent of our electricity via renewable energy sources by 2025. Will the world be here by then? Many European benchmarks target 2020, with more optimistic statistics proving that they are progressing with lightening-like rapidity.
The real question is, how many houses fell on those members of the HR who deny that climate change is destroying our environment while companies like Exxon are reporting record profits? What good will money be when there's nowhere to spend it?
I guess none of our US reps live in the path of the tornadoes that wrought so much damage last month. One of their retorts is that our communities and lives will adapt to climate change. This I learned from a U-Tube video that showed scenes of tornado devastation in Joplin, Missouri. People stood amid the wreckage of their former lives, possessing nothing but the clothes on their back.
What's it like to lose everything? I've known several people in this situation. A women in a workplace where I am a former employee lost everything when her first-floor apartment burned down to nothing. Signs on the bulletin board begged for a used vacuum cleaner, dish towels, dishes--all sorts of everyday accoutrements we don't think about much.
Then there are the irreplaceables: photo albums, heirlooms, favorite items of clothing, furniture, pets. Life goes on. But another couple I knew with a beautiful home that was the pride of their lives returned there one day to find nothing left. Nothing. I remember the shining wood of the stairway banisters they stood next to when we chatted once.
Now they inhabit a glorified rectangle, probably with drywall room partitions. But I'm getting carried away. We are not only in danger of losing everything at the individual level, but at the global level.
If archaeologists (if there are any) eons from now find nothing but cash and gold in safe-deposit boxes preserved under water, they will learn much more about our civilization than most other evidence could imply. There will be no Pompeii-like ruins, will there? The oceans are becoming so polluted they may not have any evidence for future archaeologists at all.
Might things change if God launched fierce tornadoes at each one of the HR Republican deniers' homes? Might that experience be helpful? Ronald Reagan's stance toward gun control did not change even after that assassination attempt in front of the Dupont Circle Hilton that maimed his press secretary for life. James Brady and his family, soon joined by many others, became fierce gun-control advocates.
Not only do they need to have been there. Their lives must be ruined. So pray that by the time those stubborn money mongers realize that our prophets of doom were right, there's anything left to lose at all.