Frogs, fried eggs and fear of a carbon planet

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You cannot scare a frog from the water in a pot that has not boiled.

A person cannot look back over a decade and see the world the same way they saw it when it was new.

One cannot reach enough decibels to change someone else’s mind through pure sound energy.

And yet we try.

Last week my daughter and her friend took some eggs and cracked them on the sidewalk.

They wanted to see if they would fry in heat of an 85-degree day, as they had heard from one news source or another in a hyperbolic attempt at describing a precipitous rise in temperature from one day to the next.

I patiently tried to explain that the sidewalk would have to warm up to an excessively high temperature before an egg would fry. And tried to couch this with examples of locations that routinely get hot enough to potentially fry an egg on a sidewalk.

Talk is cheap. We all know that. Nothing beats good, old-fashioned exploratory science for at least proving something is theoretically possible.

My daughter and her friend don’t understand climate change. But they will. Oh, how they will.

Our parents don’t understand climate change, and I’m tempted to say they don’t need to, because they are also the frogs in the water that has not yet boiled, but they will expire before the water reaches that frenzied, roiling stage where life ceases to exist.

And some days, like today, I don’t think I understand it either.

Everything we hear is either denial or alarm. Our news has been carried out of the business of informing and into the business of generating buzz.

When I was a cub reporter, my editor, Bender, use to send me to things he knew wouldn’t generate a buzz, because he understood that whatever it was needed to be covered so there was a record of it having happened. So that people could be informed about it.

I know there are millions of scientists around the world studying their asses off trying to find that thread of understanding that would lead to worldwide acceptance of some set of facts that would impale on our hearts a thesis of survival.

To predict is human. To predict correctly is chance.

Those of us who are not frying rocks on a sidewalk, using hyperbole to describe the weather, waiting patiently for our turn on the deathbed or actively measuring the flow of fresh water from melting glaciers and ice fields, are left to decide between the realistic impossibilities of terraforming Mars and life on an increasingly Carbon planet.


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