I laid out the letter below and then went to meet a friend for lunch at Taco Diablo, one of my favorite eateries in Evanston. Walking to my car, I noticed this mural by Shawn Bullen along the 'L' line, just south of Davis Street. I assumed it had to be brand new—I'm on that stretch of street fairly frequently.
No, put up in 2017; I just never noticed it before.
Typical. There's a lot of that going around. Thinking about how I missed it, it occurred to me that the Internet favors the ugly, the crazed, the extreme. Human nature perhaps. We see, and remark upon, the hostile, menacing stuff—the echo of natural selection, some vestigial protective trait, no doubt—and tend to overlook the beautiful.
So I thought I would pair these images—which certainly speak to our precious natural world—as a balm, with the letter, which is actually not as crazed as it first seems. Climate scientists I spoke to on my trip were also concerned that they can come off as too extreme, too shrill, predicting disasters that don't come to be, or not for 100 years. Of course they don't have the sneering tone of this letter, the aggressive dismissal of anything that one does not already believe.
We live in an age of contempt. Why argue when you can condemn? Why educate yourself when you can just express the venom that condemned you to a lifetime of ignorance in the first place? That's a whole lot easier. Yesterday's column on climate change of course was automatically rejected by the people who might benefit from it most. I think this letter can serve to represent them all. Notice how he rejects science in favor of something an old woman told him. I refrained from altering it in any way.
I have studied weather my whole life, any one can do better than a professional weather caster! I live in Palos Hills, home of ‘moraine valley’ carved out by glaciers 20,000 years ago, prior to us being here. No green house gasses by us yet. And yes, the glaciers receded back up north all by themselves, no help from us. I asked a 90 year old lady on vacation in Florida, if the ocean level has ever changed over the years, the beach line. Nope. Hmmm? Almost all you weather climate change dooms day people are very confused over global warming, and natural climate changes, that happen through out time, due to the wobble of the earth and our earth moving around. Dust bowl in mid west during 1800, lasted 50 years, no cars yet just cows farting! Climate change. Ice is forming still, new ice all over the artics, a lot of it. You see the ice falling into the oceans, global warming? A natural phenomenon. You did not see global warming. You can’t even write on paper how much water covers the earth, billions and trillions of gallons, 10 miles deep in the Atlantic trench. All the global warming predictions are computer based monkey business. There are far more scientists who debunk global warming that believe it. Look it up. It’s simply, weather changes. It will get warmer, and it will get colder by natural causes and us, a bitty. (Moraine Valley, natural ice age) who caused it, no body, we weren’t here. One natural volcano dumps more junk into the atmosphere than we can do in a lifetime. Now here comes the science for fools! The earth is alive and takes care of itself unless we don’t nuke it first (far worse fate to worry about). Hurricanes, typhoon, tornado, floods, torrential rainstorms, lightning, wind storms, waves, sand storms, the sun, hmmmm, all the ways our earth cleans itself up, all by itself. It keeps up well. Look at the car you drive after it rains next time, what are all the spots all over it, where did they come from, the earths washing machine on duty! Acid rain too. Don’t worry Neil, the earth is just fine! We get 6 hurricanes one year and crap our pants, oh they are so strong, and the next year we get two and forget? It gets so hot here, and we have the coldest winter on record in the Midwest, oh! There used to be tropic weather up in the arctic millions of years ago, fossils prove it oh my! How could that be? Let nature do its job, it is and will. The earth is 80% water, we only live on 20% of the land, most of earth is barren (deserts, jungles, wasteland). We are a pimple on the earth. I will re write you in 12 years when we all die as Cortez claims, probably an idol of yours,another mis informed taco waitress with a dangerous venu. Be careful those icebergs don’t float into your yard. Don hall