Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rising Sea Levels, Raising Awareness

Oh great, the sea levels are rising faster on the East Coast than anywhere else on the planet...just as we're going camping on the Cape. Better get there quick, though, by 2100 there may not be a Nickerson State Park. The anti-science wing nuts will claim that it's all a part of natural cycles, but come on... Who are we gonna blame when New Yorkers and Bostonians need to relocate to Pittsburgh and Manchester? You know it, the goddamn Democrats and their liberal ways. Didn't happen on our watch, no, sir.
We seem powerless to change as the rest of the world undergoes radical transformations. Stuck in our escapist, caving dystopia. America 2012, the land of the Washington standoff where the Supreme Court giveth and Exxon Mobil taketh away.
The ironies thrown up by the disconnect between our scientific and technological wizardry and our social immaturity are alway immense. Take today in the news, where whales, dolphins and dogs surpass humans in certain aspects of intelligence such as cooperation and observational powers. The richness and diversity of life on this planet has yet to be tapped. Imagine what there is to be learned from the millions of species facing extinction as a result of climate change. Imagine the social benefits of the research into life forms we will never discover because they will disappear as forests die off and ocean currents change under the influence of a warming planet. Human beings will adapt, especially in the richer countries, but we will be the poorer for the losses to natural diversity, not to even mention the trillions of dollars we will have to invest to keep dry.
So what's the connection to the book launch? Yes, the book launch in a week of Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home. Well, it's a book about the coming-of-age of a young boy. The lesson every young person needs to learn to survive is to think for themselves. As a species we seem unable to lift ourselves above the fog of misinformation put out by our supposed betters. Therefore it is easy to conclude that we have not come of age. I think the purpose of art is to contribute to the coming of age of humans as a species on our planet Earth. I can only hope that the revolution underway in our book culture portends a general transformation of the society at large.
Okay that was a stretch. I'm going camping. See ya. Glug, glug, glug...

Anthony Caplan is a writer, blogger, teacher and homesteader in New Hampshire. He is the author of the novels Birdman, French Pond Road, and the forthcoming Latitudes - A Story of Coming Home, due out at the end of June from Hope Mountain Press. Find out more about him and his work at 
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