Solastalgia In The Late Anthropo Scene

By the mid 70s, I had harbored a belief that frenetic societal norms were approaching a tipping point. Unfortunately, I did not turn that gnawing Angst into a Greta Thunberg moment. Since that time, generational thieves continue to place the young closest to the brink. The wealthiest of the most privileged draw up CYA plans, such as keeping a pilot on call and insuring that the bunkers stay well stocked and well armed.

Solastalgia: a form of mental or existential distress caused by environmental change.

An item from today’s (28 May 2019) New York Times:

In the next few months, the White House will complete the rollback of the most significant federal effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions, initiated during the Obama administration. It will expand its efforts to impose Mr. Trump’s hard-line views on other nations, building on his retreat from the Paris accord and his recent refusal to sign a communiqué to protect the rapidly melting Arctic region unless it was stripped of any references to climate change.

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

Everyday ecologies slip away every day and every where. My particular “where” is in a fly-over State, the point where Ohio and Kentucky meet Indiana.

What I saw a generation ago, that I do not (or very seldom) see now:

  • fire flies,
  • grubs,
  • moles,
  • mole hills,
  • ants crawling up a tree,
  • skunks,
  • inch worms,
  • bag worms,
  • bees,
  • native flora,
  • native-blossoming trees,
  • diverse wild birds,
  • earthworms in puddles,
  • butterflies,
  • moths,
  • groundhog colonies,
  • snakes,
  • water bugs,
  • locusts,
  • praying mantises

Cicadas flew by the billions here in 2004. Will they hatch in 2021?

Plastic molecules form islands in every ocean, plastics permeate lungs and digestive tracts, they extend to the peak of Everest (see photo below) and drop into the Marianna Trench. Sea life ingests those products manufactured using fossil fuels, transported with fossil fuels. Furious resource-extraction teams purchase ice-breaking ships to the Arctic for rare minerals needed in throwaway electronics.

An urgent suggestion: stop eating fish — and all other sentient things. Industrial nets extending 75 miles behind enormous tankers cull sea life efficiently enough to shorten the intervals between individual eco-extinctions.

Did you know that Greta Thunberg is vegan? She confronts eco-criminals with action plans that address the root of the problem. It’s not Climate Change, it’s not Climate Crisis, it’s nothing less than a Climate Emergency.

Go Vegan like there’s no tomorrow.

Take “Scale Mt Everest” off your plastic-bucket list.

Bad ideas:

  • Accumulating crap,
  • wasting lives by consuming them,
  • trashing lives for folly, fashion, fad, or geopolitical advantage,
  • frenzied shopping experiences,
  • joining traffic jams on the highways if avoidable,
  • frenetic frequent flying,
  • idling your ass in a drive-thru for the In and Out of it all,
  • ingesting the toxins that dwell in fast food,
  • tossing single-use plastic utensils and drinking straws,
  • salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, secret sauce, soy, sugar… packets into an environment already fulsomely (my favorite word) thick with them.

Thanks for reading.

German Grammar in the Everyday Every Day

Fashioning a German Lesson Plan from Anything at Hand

Class topic of the day (des Tages): how picking up a plastic bag off the street and reading the language printed on that bag may help you learn language. The one I have here is your classic bad-news-for-the-environment plastic bag. I retrieved one for each of you, so it’s a handout. Later in the day you can three-hole punch this handout and put it in your binder under today’s date.

handout
Your handout for this class: Let’s say I had snagged this bag from under a parked car in the Kröger lot, before the plastic could pose a wildlife hazard. Now it’s in the lesson plan as an instructional resource. Note: 3 holes have not yet been punched. Please include margin notes using your felt-tip pen. Thank You. THANK YOU.

Today’s exercise allows you to use innate perceptual senses to discern meaning from everyday texts, and to discover potential contexts for your favorite words. Remember that new knowledge is fragile knowledge, so be gentle with yourself and feel free to make mistakes. In this class the student who makes the most mistakes gets the highest mark since she learns from her own mistakes. Also, if the present-moment reader finds an error in this post I get a point.

Use this bag later in your life for sandwiches, knickknacks, sturdy water bottles and items with words written upon them.

Anyway, pick up your red Sharpie and write ‘rot‘ on the handout. Think about how similar ‘t’ and ‘d’ sound: “Ta Da!” and recall the apocryphal tale of Saxons (Sachsen) moving to England to start a new language. On that hypothetical boat Saxons decided to change their ‘t’ to a ‘d’ and say ‘good‘ rather than ‘gut‘ and day instead of ‘Tag‘. And then call it English.

migration routes around 800 C.E.
migration routes around 800 C.E.

Draw a rainbow with your Sharpies and label each color separately in your language of choice or else in German. Gather the things you want to put in your handout. Label that bag with its contents, z.B.:

  • Apfel (grüner)
  • Brot (rotes)
  • Papier (weißes)
  • Banane (gelbe oder grüne oder schwarze oder schwarzgelbe oder oder oder)
  • Apfelsaft (süßer)

Now place each object (each noun) into the bag (in die Tüte) and take a walk (einen Spaziergang machen). Connect the Umlaut dots atop the ‘u’ to form an ‘o’, thus reminding you just how crafty those dang Saxons were (Tüte becomes tote). Those tapfere Sachsen even simplified the ‘chs’ in their former German language to an ‘x’ in the new language (nächste becomes next).  While on this relaxing stroll let your friends (strangers optional) know about the contents of your bag:

Hallo. Hier in meiner Tüte habe ich einen grünen Apfel. Gebrauchtes Papier ist immer das Beste. Glaubst du das.

Let’s say you forget to bring your own shopping bag to Kröger. At least save those plastic hazards in your vehicle or Rücksack and drop them into the fiber recycling drum in their foyer (the place where you grab a shopping cart).