Five Percent: Conserve Energy

Climate Change Is Important: Energy Conservation is the First Step


August 15, 2008

Change: There’s No Place Like Home

Category: Little Things – Tom Harrison – 9:29 pm

Have you had a vacation this summer? When I go, away, it’s usually exciting, different, fun, and interesting for a while. Maybe I’m just getting old and set in my ways, but after a while, a week or two, the novelty wears off and I start missing the comforts of home. Nothing beats that first night back in one’s own bed.

Change can be good, and exciting, and interesting, and beneficial. And it’s often a little painful. Some of us work in jobs we dislike, or accept marriages in which we’re unhappy, or accept other bad situations for years, even lifetimes, fearing change. Others tend to embrace change: thrill seekers who need to have their lives shaken up a little — I tend to change jobs, or change my role in a job frequently, lest I get complacent. To be honest, in the first few years of my marriage, I wondered if I would feel the same and decide to change, but it turns out that our marriage is a wonderfully changing and evolving relationship (we’re lucky, I guess).

But change is hard; you could see it as a fearful thing, or as a challenge, but either way, it’s hard. As we prepare for our vacation, I know I’ll be glad to be back to my regular bed when I get home.

There\'s no place like home

There's no place like home

There’s no place like home.

Which brings me to my point: just as Dorothy was swept up by a tornado in the Wizard of Oz, and landed in a strange and wonderful, yet fearful and different place, so may we. She returned when she realized there’s no place like home.

But Dorothy’s tornado was a vivid dream (if my highly refined years of liberal arts education taught me anything, it was really a dream). She woke up and everything was fine.

As I write, I am watching a thunderstorm pass over us. Rain is pelting, and there’s even a little hale. Lightening is intense and thunder is loud. I have always loved a good storm — we often sit on our front porch just to watch them come, counting the seconds between lightening and thunder.

What’s different is that this summer, we have had storms, often severe, day, after day after day. I can’t find the data, but I heard that we have had more than ever.

It’s great. Our grass is green. All the plants are huge and lush. Usually at this time of year it’s dry, hot and muggy. This year has been warm, but not hot, with thundershowers predicted in all but a few days. And when it rains, it rains!

Global warming? Well, as a person respectful of science, I must say that a summer like this is probably well within statistical probabilities for “normal” weather. A month ago there was a tornado in Alton, NH that caused significant damage and killed person. Tornadoes turn out to be common, but not ones that strong. Water levels in rivers are much higher than usual. All predictions from global warming models predict change that are exactly like the ones we have seen here in moderate Boston.As a regular guy I knows that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck. And so does anyone else who lives here.

And, as I listen to the symphony of thunder I have but one thought: we’re only seeing them tuning their instruments. The real symphony won’t start for a while (and I am thinking Beethoven, and not “Pastorale”, more like the 5th or 9th.)

I’ll be happy to return to my own bed after vacation. But global warming will not be so pleasant a change, nor a quick return to normalcy. There’s no place like home, and chances are there won’t be one like that for years to come. How do you choose to respond?

I choose to see if there’s anything we can do to make it less severe.

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