Willin’

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I have had a lot of good things happen these days, and I’m grateful. Tom Ashbrook’s podcast On Point has introduced to me to a couple really interesting books that deal with the future. The Collapse of Western Civilization by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway takes a pessimistic view. A Chinese historian looks back hundreds of years to the end of this century, when the West Antarctic Ice Sheet turned into water, and billions of humans migrated inland. This short work is rooted in science; the authors project what coastlines become from current models, and imagine how different nations react based on today’s politics. It’s not a pretty picture.

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Ruth DeFries, MacArthur genius, just published, “The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis.” She looks backward, at our species path from wild to farmers. We pushed to the Americas and Australia, developed agriculture, created cities: with each step forward, or what Ruth DeFries calls a ratchet up, we have faced challenges, or hatchets, and our creativity and willingness to work together to solve problems has carried us through. When farming stripped the land of nutrients, we ground up bison bones and spread them over the land. In the current era, we have increased our food production to its highest peak, and now have more of us living than ever before. Climate change is a big hatchet, but in the pattern of our species development, Ruth sees reason to believe that we will find our way.

I watched a movie about time travel: Boyhood. It was so good I emailed Aunt Judy.

Also, I have some bitchin’ classic rock in my life, thanks to the 24/7 radio stream from Nick Michaels. I listen to his show, The Deep End, while I ride my bike to and from work. (It’s safe, on bike path, straight all the way.) The Deep End is all about deep cuts, bringing up gems from the depths. It reminds me of Sanctuary, by Allan Stagg, which I used to listen to while on the Blue Line, coming home late at night from my dishwashing job, ten years ago. I try to remember my favorite songs and look them up when I get home. Then I slowly make a mix, and give it to somebody at work. I have given mixes to Katy, Shane and today, my road dog DT. David’s mix features the Little Feat, a song called, “Willin'”.

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