S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

On the way to 2008 --

It is important to maintain perspective. With all the danger and tragedy in the news, it can be helpful to step back and come to know again what is really important to the bigger picture. In the case of the environment these seem important to me, but I know your lists might be very different.

Science matters -- We are reading many more stories these days that must be understood from a scientific point of view. A solid foundation in science is essential to staying up to date as we move into this next year. Reading science news from Scientific American, I found myself thinking about both the past and the future. My previous post was about the future of the natural earth (see Nature), and I have often written about the environment and energy in the past. I routinely reference Carl Pope, the head of the Sierra Club's blog, "Taking the Initiative," (12/19) regarding water shortages in Asia, from which I quote:

It will require a new kind of economic and ecological cooperation to avoid . . . beggar-your-neighbor scenarios -- and a recognition that, as Tom Friedman said Sunday in the Times, "It’s Too Late for Later." Building that kind of new world order is the biggest challenge facing the next American President -- if we don't want the 21st century to be a catastrophic string of conflicts and wars over control of the Earth's rapidly diminishing biological commons and ecosystems.

Art Matters -- as well as science. We can advocate for the environment in several different ways. A more creative way might be even more effective. Each way reaches a different part of the reader or listener. I recently composed a little piece of poetry as part of my transition into 2008. I called it, "Happy New Year, Dear Earth." It goes like this:

I want to wish you . . .
A Happy New Year, dear Earth.
You deserve better than a penny's worth
Of righteous effort from us.

I want to wish you. . .
A better bunch of friends in high places.
You deserve a set of brand new faces
Honoring their Bully Pulpits.

I want to wish you. . .
A decent shot at normal temp trends.
You deserve relief from over extended
Fossil fuel fires of waste.

I want to wish you . . .
A Chilly Winter at both your poles.
You deserve fewer gaping holes
In those precious ozone layers.

I want to wish you. . .
A Happy New Year, dear Earth.
You deserve at least a rebirth
Of higher rescue aspirations.

Copyright by Carol Gee
December 29, 2007

Love matters -- The 2007 holidays are almost in the past and the song, "As Time Goes By," from the movie Casablanca (an old favorite I just saw for the umpteenth time), is now running through my head:

You must remember this
A kiss is still a kiss,
a sigh is just a sigh.
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by.

Perspective matters -- With the environment the fundamental things do apply, and apply ever so seriously. But having fun along the way really lightens a burdened heart. Larry West, who writes "Your Guide to Environmental Issues," a blog for, posted this for Christmas, in case you missed it. A Kiss is Just a Kiss:

Fun Facts About Mistletoe
Everyone knows about the power of mistletoe at Christmas, right? It makes holiday romance democratic by making everyone equally kissable. But there is more to mistletoe than kissing and holiday merriment. . . consider these fun facts about the unassuming little sprig that promises to enliven your holiday romance.

Compassion matters -- People acting in the name of science must have compassion,too. On the way to 2008, I came across this short article. It troubled me as I read it. There is an almost barbaric edge to the story, in my opinion. My questions are these. Was there no way to end this except by killing the subject? Am I just a fuzzy-headed liberal for wondering? The story is headlined, "Top 10 Scientific Discoveries - 50 Top 10 Lists of 2007 " to quote from TIME:

#9. The World's Oldest Animal

In October, researchers from Bangor University in Wales were trawling an ocean shelf off the coast of north Iceland when they stumbled on what is believed to be the world's oldest living animal: a 405 year-old clam. Or it was living, until researchers had to kill it to determine the clam's age by studying rings on its shell. The clam species, the Arctica Atlantica, is particularly long lived — it has been known to survive some 200 and 300 years — and this particular specimen spent its protracted life burrowed in the sand 262 feet under water. When it first lodged itself down there, Shakespeare's Hamlet was on stage at the Globe Theater, and the English were setting up camp in North America.

Happy New Year, Everyone.

View my current slide show about the Bush years, "Millennium," at the bottom of this column.

(Cross-posted at The Reaction.)

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LaPopessa said...

You forgot one - Great and Enthusiastic Bloggers matter. And you certainly make blog reading more interesting whenever I check over here.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

Carol, I have been greatly remiss in not telling you what a valuable resource your blog is for me. I come to it time after time for information. It's "my own" little google without the crap!

I know it takes a huge effort, as well as a lot of talent, to put such a blog out day after day, and I want you to know, I for one am very grateful for it, and you!! May the New Year, despite the troubles of the past, bring you many and varied blessings. I can think of no one more deserving!!

Carol Gee said...

Thanks, lapopessa. You're very kind. I feel the same way about Make it Stop! Have a very happy, happy...
Hi Future, what a perfectly lovely comment I woke up to this morning. Were you up late or awake early?
Your words warm my heart, as they often do. And they inspire renewed efforts towards excellence this brand new year. Thanks.
I read your blog regularly also. Do you know why? It is because of your "out-there" straightforwardness, your labeling of what you feel, your passion about stuff, your edgy sense of humor, and your good heart (yes, it shows). Happy, happy to you, too.