Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Early Autumn of Honey BooBoo

September is a special month. It starts in summer, with the heat still mostly there but the lights lowered. I need to hang on to the heat, with old memories of cold, poor winters in the Connecticut Valley driving me to near panic. The lowering light gets more and more lovely and suddenly, it gets cool. There are smells, and flowers, and birds. For the last 10,000 years or so, there has been the harvest.

The harvest is mythically important. After the harvest comes death , which is also sort of a key fact. So we have a big honking connection to nature.

So. I'm getting all mythic about a really great time of year when I spend a dark evening in front of the retina of the mind's eye & notice that a typical Wednesday night of crappy TV has the show we've all heard about - Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.  "Yeeeeearrrrrrrghhh!!!!" seems woefully insufficient. It's a window on the life of the 47%.

Please, please, please close it quickly. Although you have to admit that the picture of Bill Clinton looking down on them in horror & empathy is a nice touch, this show is a test that the rest of us will fail like a Wasserman on Jersey Shore.

What to do? Get out of the house, of course. Even in the heart of the Big City there's stuff growing and ripening everywhere. This year, particularly. Last year was horribly wet in the east, and even the apple crop, about the last thing still grown commerically around here, was soggy & awful. This year, in the record smashing heat*, rain came at oddly convenient intervals and things stayed nicely green. (Yes, I'm fully aware of the horror that burned down west of the Appalachians - more on that often here) 
From the relative comfort of the lesser depression we look at the higher dignity of the Great Depression and remember the main difference : yields.
Nowadays, farms yield about 160 bushels (9600 lbs) per acre in good years, 120 in years like this.  Given a few more years like 2012, the product of global warming & a jet stream keeping the cold there was off North America, there will be starvation. The lazy prediction today was pointless hunger deaths rising from 5 to 6 million a year, but what does that mean? Nothing.

The real question is: Have we put a serious hit on Mother Nature?

The real answer is : Hell, yes. These outsize yields won't last long. Long term carrying capacity of humans on this planet is almost surely under 2 billion souls. The other 5 billion of us are living on the heritage of fossil fuels & minerals deposited over hundreds of millions of years. Once it's gone, or even significantly harder to get at, we're all in deep pain. All I can say? Give thanks to Demeter & Persephone.

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