This morning I saw a five minute segment about the polar ice cap crisis on the "Today" show. Holy Smokes! It seems the North Pole is shrinking because of greenhouse gas emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Ever wonder why Americans can’t come up with anything resembling an environmental policy?
Might this have something to do with TV?
As soon as the Today show finished their absolutely dire story about the death of the polar ice cap they jumped to a story about a new kind of Tupperware party that’s all the rage in suburbia.
As Kurt Vonnegut would have said: "And so on…"
Meanwhile it’s about 8 degrees in Iowa and there are snow drifts against the back of the house, a matter that delights our Labradors. Roscoe, our black Lab, who is 14 walks arthritically out into the fresh powder and puts his old face down in a snow bank and glories in a deeply personal icy joy.
One would think that Americans would want to save the environment just for the sake of their house pets.
I was thinking about this idea yesterday when Connie and I were listening to a campaign speech by John Edwards. (Connie by the way got to shake Senator Edwards’ hand. I am told that his hand was attached to the rest of him.)
Sen. Edwards was arguing that we ought to clean up the environment and fix the economy for the sake of our children.
I was packed in the back of a huge crowd at the Holiday Inn in Coralville, Iowa, and I was conceiving of the possibility that Americans love dogs and cats more than they care about children. (Several socially befuddled people came up to pet my guide dog. These are the sorts of people who otherwise show no signs of social connection. So I rest my case.)
Accordingly I wonder if the candidates who really care about global warming might be wise to adopt a new strategy and urge everyone to save the planet for "Fluffy" and "Rin Tin Tin".
As my friend Lorraine would say: "I’m just sayin’".
While Connie got to shake John Edwards’ hand, I got to shake James Lowe’s hand. James Lowe is a man who was born with a cleft palate and owing to the fact that he had no medical insurance he lived with this condition for fifty years. During those five decades he was literally unable to speak.
Mr. Lowe’s voice is like words emitted by a Victrola: he sounds both sweet and a little dark. His voice comes from a long way to reach our ears. He has a lovely mountain accent from West Virginia.
As we left the rally we found ourselves following John Edwards’ campaign bus for a few miles. The snow storm was coming on. We got a little bit lost and found ourselves driving down a dirt road in the wintry twilight. We rode in silence, each enjoying some inner light.