Friday, November 2, 2012

What Sandy's Trying to Say

Now that the subway is slooooowly creaking back into motion, things are just about back to normal in my neck of the woods.  My neck of the woods got lucky: the only repercussions we experienced were piles of leaves outside our doors, and a couple downed trees.  Here are some pictures.  Just one neighborhood over, one of those trees fell on a couple in their early twenties, and of course, the F train isn't running all the way to Coney Island, because everyone living closer to the coast is dealing with significant damage, and in all too many cases, the loss of their homes (technically 'his or her' would be grammatically correct, but it just sounds wonky).
Mary made it!
We've drained our bathtubs, drank through our hurricane booze, contacted our friends, made pilgrimages to charge electronics as necessary, and generally got on with it, but there's an unspoken fear: last year was Irene.  This year Sandy was worse.  What will happen next year?
No one's going down this street right now.
Just like for thousands of farmers devastated by this summer's drought, the question of global warming is getting a lot less theoretical for us.  Most scientists surmise Sandy can be directly linked back to record highs of melted sea ice.  Oops.  Guess the SUV drivers, and the frequent fliers should go apologize to those folks in Breezy Point.  Sorry, guys.  See, my entire family is several states away...
Thank goodness this big buy didn't fall the other way.
I've been told that people who believe we need to make greener choices to combat global warming are being naive, because changing to compact fluorescent light bulbs isn't going to cut it.  Well, it's true.  They're not.  Since World War II we've increasingly decentralized, and sprawled out, sending suburbia deep into rural areas, consuming farm land, and necessitating each person have their own personal 2-12 person bus for getting around.  Does anyone else think about cars and just feel mindblowingly confused by how this concept ever became normal?   You guys.  We already know that if we burn JUST THE TAR SAND DEPOSITS CURRENTLY BEING MINED IN ALBERTA, CANADA, never mind millions more gallons earmarked all over the world, it's game-over.  Our planet is irrevocably wrecked for the foreseeable future, which won't be all that long for us.  And this isn't a game.  Hurricane Sandy's just the beginning if we don't grow some gonads and make the big changes now.
The poles that held this awning up are laying twisted on the sidewalk behind those bushes.
If you're thinking about leaving an urban area for a suburban one, please reconsider!  If you're already there, please consider selling the second car, supporting hybrid and hydrogen technologies, taking your bike whenever you can!  I've been getting along fine without a car for seven years because I live in a densely populated area where everything I need can be reached on foot, or via public transportation.  And that's the way of the future, you guys.   Suburbia was never sustainable.  It was always just a dream, and if we don't wake up, it's going to turn into a nightmare.
This tree didn't uproot; it just slowly tipped over, the trunk pushing through the mud.
I know, every few months I harp on this, and if you read the blog, then you've already gotten the picture, but if you think I'm exaggerating, call someone who lives in New York.
This is the only downed tree we saw in Prospect Park before the cops kicked us out.
Our jack-o-lantern made it through Sandy.  Maybe we can make it through what we've done to ourselves.
Live Omily,
~em

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