As The World Turns, Clouds Churn

Blog 2437 – 06.27.2022

As The World Turns, Clouds Churn

My mother’s favorite soap opera was the long running midday TV program, As The World Turns. The show began long before the first astronauts took pictures of the earth from outer space and so the show’s opening featured a mocked up spinning sphere with the continents and oceans clearly defined. There were no clouds to obstruct the view.

Here in hot and uncharacteristically dry Houston we have a forecast with the best chance of rain that we have had in several weeks. We have had dark cloudy skies several days lately, but only a few drops of rain that the sun quickly licked up before the plant life could benefit. I recall my first summer in Houston in 1973 that we seemed to have street flooding thunder storms every afternoon. The summer of 1974, my first summer with a yard that I was responsible to keep cut in Houston, I had to cut the grass twice a week because it grew so fast.

My first long away from home work assignment was in 2012 in Baggs, Wyoming, the high desert. The vistas reminded me of the John Wayne westerns of my youth. The Great Divide was near by and you could see for miles and miles, mostly sage brush and buttes named after their shapes. And there were clouds, but as the Home On The Range says, “The skies are not cloudy all day.” So seldom did even the darkest clouds let go their rain that two weeks after the snow melted and that desert world budded and bloomed it was back to being mostly shades of sun-baked brown, a world without rain.

The scientist, the overwhelming majority of them, say, man-made global warming, is making the entire planet into a desert. On my second brief away from home work assignment in 2012, the one before Baggs, I spent two month in Kenai, Alaska. I drove there in a Jeep Wrangler from Detroit, Michigan. Seven days of ten hour drives through some of the most beautiful sights the eyes can behold. I drove passed glaziers that since have melted, ice mountains that had withstood thousands of summers.

This blue and green ball will live on is like a terrarium. The clouds are water vapor that is sucked up by the sun and when the clouds become dense enough and high enough the cool atmosphere let’s the water fall back to the earth and those showers of blessings cause everything to green and grow. We interrupt that cycle at our own peril.

The First People believed that Father Sky and Mother Earth were in a dance, a dance that produced rain, that produced and sustained life. In the high desert you can see rain coming a long way off. I recall being disappointing often when those dark clouds passed over leaving no rain in the high desert.

I spent last summer in Nebraska, the land of cornhuskers and more recently wind-turbines cropping up throughout the corn fields. I expected to see a lot more rain than I did while I was there and not so many wind-turbines and huge irrigation arrays without which there would be little corn growing. For hundreds of years the rains were often and sustained enough to grow grass aplenty for huge herds of roaming buffalo. The buffalo were killed not for fur coats and buffalo steaks, but to keep them from holding back western expansion. We just could not have them crowding out cattle ranches and stomping down corn and wheat crops. So usurpers killed the buffalo and took over their stomping grounds forcing the plains dwellers to become farmers, the few who survived.

The engines of “progress” have belched-out nocuous gases that have polluted the water and air, changing the climate around the world. Many have gotten rich off the black gold, digging deeper and deeper to extract it at great cost and even greater cost to Mother Earth. She is becoming too sick to dance with Father Sky. Dark clouds that used to carry rain more often just spread fouled air, disease and disappointment.

Instead of a gas tax holiday perhaps we should consider another possible interpretation of a commandment once carve on a stone tablet:

“Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the earth.”

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

That’s Life (Remastered 2008)

That’s Life (Remastered 2008)

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