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Are we running out of time?
We are told that we live in the age of information. [I would actually argue that we live in the age of MISinformation, but that’s a conversation for another day.] An increasing number of the things we do, see, and hear are linked to the computing grid -- ever-expanding, unimaginably massive layers of 0s and 1s stacked on top of each other. Every day, we interact with it without even being conscious of what we’re doing. Think about how many times you’ve checked your phone today.
Every industry is obsessed with big data. And every industry -- food, retail, oil, shipping, pharmaceuticals -- is built on careful analysis of unimaginably large sets of numbers that can tell them how to run more efficiently and at a higher profit margin.
These are the numbers that occupy most of our time and attention. The numbers that make up the code that allows us to watch cat videos from our phones. The numbers that route a cargo ship with thousands of tons of goods from Hong Kong to Long Beach. And, of course, the numbers in our bank account and our social media profiles that tell us how much we are worth. [What this is doing to us as a society and as individuals will be the study of social psychologists for decades to come.]
But the numbers that are always lingering in the back of my mind are these: our planet’s surface temperature has risen 2 degrees Fahrenheit on average since the 19th century. 16 of the 17 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001. Global sea level rose 8 inches in the last century. Science has given us lots of numbers like these that tell us that the Earth is warming, that we are most likely (read: definitely, without question) the cause, and that if we don’t do something about it, there will be hell to pay. It’s already happening.
I want to live a full life. I want to follow my dreams. I want to have children. I want to leave them with a beautiful, healthy planet that they in turn can steward responsibly. But the clock is ticking.
Nice and Slow
There’s a hole in the center of the great white world
And we’re only gonna dig it down
There’s an army of spies and our diamond eyes
Set a mile and a half underground
And our pockets fill up
And our pockets fall out
And the sun and the water will rise no doubt
And the wind and the rain and the hurricanes
Will scatter our cats and dogs about, I know
Ooh, it’s what we’re asking for
I grew up in the land of the lemonade stand
But it never got as sticky as this
And I still am drinking it every day
But I swear it tastes a lot like piss
Cause I get from a man in another state
Who buys it by the ton at a better rate
And ships it out here right to my plate
But they just don’t make it like they used to make it, no
Ooh, nice and slow
There’s a hole in the center of the deep blue sea
And we’re never gonna fill it up
There’s a girl back home and she cares for me
But these days it’s never enough
So I work real hard, I make mistakes
I learn just a little bit of give and take
And I need her so bad my body aches
But we just don’t make it like we used to make it, no
Ooh nice and slow