It’s time for the change of seasons, but instead of moving from summer to fall, when the leaves shift from green to amber, we’re shifting from scandal fatigue to disaster fatigue. For those of you keeping track at home, there are record-high temperatures and fires in the west; hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean; and earthquakes in Mexico. Fox News is reporting that locusts are on direct approach to the Midwest, but that may be more appropriately be spelled Faux News (still pronounced the same way).
What this brings to mind is nothing more than Patient Earth approaching terminal status. It started with increasing temperatures (fever) and is manifesting itself in sweats (flooding), shivers (earthquakes), and severe burning sensations (fires). If I didn’t know better, I would think that the earth is doing its level best to divest itself of these parasites it calls humans. Like any body under attack from overdevelopment and undernourishment, it’s fighting back the only way it knows how.
Like an aging smoker and overeater, the Earth is no doubt feeling its arteries clogged with plastic and its lungs clogged with pollutants. Does it sense that specific parasites – identified by scientists as Trumpium and Pruitticium – are working to exacerbate these maladies? The patient has been feeling so good for so many decades – less pollution, no more lakes catching on fire, more recycling – that it’s probably wondering why things are suddenly taking a turn for the worse. It’s not age-related, because the earth has been around too long for that. No, these are external maladies. No wonder the patient is working so hard to eradicate the cause of its discomfort.
The only question that remains is whether we’ll come up with ways to minimize the symptoms (oh, say, like not paving over a city built on a bayou so that it actually has some drainage capabilities when a hurricane hits, or not warming the oceans so much that melting polar ice caps start drowning people). If we’re not part of the cure, we’re surely doomed to be the disease.