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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Age of Humans: Snuffing Our Species Out

With California entering its fourth year of severe drought and the planet having its warmest August and September since records began in 1880, one scientist at NASA’s Institute for Space Studies said in 2014 that the warm data points “point toward the long-term trends.”[1] At the time, scientists were already claiming that the planet had entered a new era—that of the Anthropocene—noted for the impact of the homo sapiens species in altering Earth. The implications are profound, even if the huge shift has not fully registered in human consciousness.

Source: “The Age of Humans.”

[1] Nick Visser, “The Planet Just Had Its Warmest August on Record,” The Huffington Post, September 15, 2014.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Stifling Change: Columbus Day and Thanksgiving

In Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated at harvest-time, on October 12th, rather than a week before the first month of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For the States south of Canada, whether their respective peoples are cold or warm on the third Thursday in November, the holiday’s date is etched in stone, given the illustrious aura of the U.S. president who had enshrined the date in the midst of a horrendous war between the USA and CSA in the 1860s. Few people would dare even entertain the natural assimilation of Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day on October 12th. So, well after harvest in most of the States and bunched in with Christmas and New Years—effectively ridding the latter of any left-over enthusiasm—people in the States in the northern climes are consigned to stuff themselves like Turkey birds while the surviving natural turkeys shiver outside. Human nature itself may be hardwired against change, and the massive scale of modern political association may exacerbate the paralysis. 

The full essay is at "Stifling Change."