How Would You Read These Signs?

 

It’s been a little over a month since Earth Day, but since environmental concerns should be addressed all year long, check this out…

As a lifelong Michigander (6+ decades), I’ve grown accustomed to an occasionally odd, illogical meteorological mix… in some instances unseasonal extremes spanning a 24 hour (or less) cycle.

This spring, my region has been experiencing the fifth wettest May since meteorological record keeping began. Even so, based on my observations, I don’t believe that precipitation, alone, is responsible for such a weird phenomenon.

In short, both professional and amateur groundskeepers have been finding it quite difficult to keep up with a botanical growth spurt.

To e.g. this… my next-door neighbor (who does over fertilize his weed free lawn) used to be on a mow once every 7 days schedule… but now? In spite his allowing only 2 days to elapse, today, his normally kickass power mower still found it difficult to deal with his lush lawn… it kept sputtering and, a few times, nearly stalled out.

To further e.g. this… yesterday, my own weekly, groundskeeping didn’t go much better. Naturally, I don’t use any of those nasty, toxic, carcinogenic lawn chemicals, so my own battlefield had involved heavy duty, grotesquely overgrown dandelions. Hmmm… might my weedy “lawn” act as the “control” to this field experiment?

And since I’ve noticed both above lawn types citywide, I do know that these problems are not unique to my neighborhood.

One final e.g… in spite of my electric trimmer’s best efforts, yesterday, I still spent over an hour sculpting my three car length hedge… a weekly task that… once upon a time… only required half an hour to complete. It’s almost as if these elm shrubs have been goaded into some sort of competition with America’s West Coast, 3,000 year old redwoods… and are doing their utmost to win the race in far less time. BTW, even under normal conditions, elm hedges have been known to grow into 60 foot tall trees.

Naturally, I’m curious as to whether this growth spurt is localized or widespread. Considering how WordPress is a global platform, I now ask anyone reading this post…

Has anyone else observed any signs of wildly accelerated plant growth in their “neck of the woods”? Might the goading factor be an increase of atmospheric CO2? If not, what do you believe is the driving force?

The comment box awaits your responses.

 

 

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An Open Letter To My Dear Deer Friends

 

Dear Jane and John Doe,

For starters, I am so sorry for needing to assign you made-up names. But… that’s because seven daybreaks ago there had been little time for formal introductions. And even had time permitted, there still is that language barrier between our species. After all, the two of you are majestic deer and I am merely human.

Why am I writing to you? Well, this open letter is to offer up my heartfelt apology for having frightened you off one week ago. Up till that moment, we had been able to coexist. But, in my defense, I did that in your own best interests. How so… you ask?

You see, the instant I threw open my patio window’s curtains that morning, I had to do a double-take. In spite of my having lived six plus decades in my lifelong hometown, I had never, before, seen a buck and doe paying me such an up close and personal visit… so calmly walking about my little corner of our neighborhood. Up till that moment, I had only seen you and your friends from afar… frolicking in that once-upon-a-time woodsy area right across that hazardous highway, which separates our home turfs.

And I do know you had a perfectly good reason for stopping by… namely… for too many decades, our formerly bucolic locale has been mutating into something more citified… changing too rapidly… and not for the better.

Perfect example… just this past spring, a tasteless, greed driven, environmental terrorist / land developer came to town. Obviously, he has never met a pristine natural habitat he didn’t want to sully… i.e., urbanize / pave over with wildly unaffordable, “luxury” condominiums, which are are butt ugly.

True, I don’t know for sure that we’re talking about an actual “he” here, but, that is a reasonable conclusion considering how I don’t believe womankind would be capable of / culpable for committing such a violation of Mother Nature.

As if evicting the deer population weren’t bad enough already, what makes his construction / destruction project even worse is it’s poorly chosen locale. Jane, John, I’m sure you’ve noticed how the two intersecting roads abutting this corner lot are elevated ten feet higher than the land itself.

Such a steep drop-off not only makes for an esthetically unpleasing view for both passersby looking in and eventual dwellers looking out their windows, but also makes for a potentially dangerous situation. Anyone with half a brain could’ve foreseen how, with the rooftops being at the same level as the roads… an out of control vehicle… oh… say… one spinning out on an icy patch of asphalt… could easily come crashing down… right through the roof… to maim and/or kill unsuspecting condo occupant(s).

And unbeknownst to most folks… who weren’t around back on 06/25/1968… is how a sudden, summertime cloudburst had left waste deep floodwater almost nowhere to go. Indeed, this particular parcel of woodsy land, likely from time immemorial, has proven itself instrumental in the drainage of such stormwater. This land, indeed, was what had limited 1968’s storm damage to my home’s basement.

So, I suppose I should feel a bit grateful that the condo builder, in question, hadn’t opted to truck in megatons of soil to raise the level of his land. Of course, keeping one’s own home dry probably won’t be a shared experience for those folks who eventually take up residence across the road from me.

Of course, who knows what the overall impact this newly paved over land might have on this drainage issue? And these concerns do exist even prior to our factoring in how rainstorms have been rapidly growing freakier… oft taking on biblical proportions. How global warming issues… the melting of our planet’s icecaps is causing rising water levels of our oceans and lakes… inclusive of Michigan’s Great Lakes.

This multitude of worries does raise many questions. Each and every time I take a gander at that local, ill-conceived condo project, I shake my head and ask myself…

How could our City Fathers have ever been so shortsighted to have green lighted the construction of these condos and destruction of an ecosystem?

True, I have absolutely no proof to back my suspicion, but…

Would it really surprise anyone if the mayor and councilpersons have recently come into some windfalls… now enjoy substantially larger, personal bank account balances?

But enough about me, Jane and John. I’ve only mentioned these issues to demonstrate to you, my dear deer friends, how humankind is harming itself, too… not to imply that one wrong would ever justify another.

Returning, now, to the morning I had chased you two away… I had fully realized that you’d been displaced by this ill-conceived condo project. In fact, while still remaining undetected while observing you, I could already hear the telltale racket of foremen barking out high decibel, yelled orders… backhoe and crane operators revving up their diesel engines… of carpenters carving up wood with their power saws and banging away at it with their hammers.

I had just about turned away to make my breakfast… just about left you two alone in your makeshift wilderness… when it suddenly dawned on me how this is deer mating season… how bucks like you, John, would be challenging every competing male who’d ever dare to woo over your mate. My immediate concern was that you might come charging in towards my house to attack, what, in reality, would’ve been your own image reflected in my patio window.

While I’d normally consider myself a welcoming person to creatures great and small… I had to prioritize your wellbeing… keep in mind how, were you to crash through all that glass, you could’ve easily become severely lacerated… might’ve even died from the severe injuries you’d sustain.

Not really knowing how the two of you would react I opted to risk it by cautiously sliding open my patio door. Well, you both did the rest… reacted to my just standing in the open doorway by taking that running leap over my next-door neighbor’s four foot high chainlink fence… btw… you two “totally rocked” with your gracefulness and athletic prowess.

Crisis averted? Nope, that’s likely only been postponed… that is… unless you, John, realize that, sometimes, it’ll be your own image getting reflected back to you in the windows of the homes you’re passing by… unless you can spread the word about this to the other bucks within your herd.

I’d also like to warn you, Jane and John, that not all humans will be as kind and considerate as I am. Indeed, in another Michigan community, Ann Arbor, many self-centered dwellers feel pissed off whenever deer visit their neighborhoods… have actually whined about this to their City Fathers. And these local politicians have been opting into a deadly solution… green lighting actual, within the city limits deer culls… i.e., the hiring of sharpshooters / hitmen to take you out.

Such small-minded humans deem deer as invaders of our territory… never once, even for one split second, realizing that it’s we humans, who are the invaders of deer territory.

It doesn’t need to ever be that way if humankind would stop chopping down, paving over and overdeveloping (y)our forests and wetlands. Regrettably, that MO is ubiquitous… proven out by my own hometown’s crazy condo project… one that has negatively impacted both the deer and human communities.

Jane and John Doe, I do hope we now better understand each other and that you, my dear deer friends, will accept my heartfelt apology for frightening you last week. Stay safe and stay alive!

Respectfully Yours,

CommonSenseTom

Rush’s Hot Air Rushes Don’t Ease Global Warming

 

Just in case there might be one or two of you, out there, who may not have heard (or heard of) that archconservative, broadcasting blowhole, Rush Limbaugh, here’s the skinny…

Limbaugh is a pathetic, stick figure quasi-human being… a deplorable, unconscionable, unprofessional phone-in, talk show host… no strike that… parasite. He’s a professional media whore who shills for / sucks up to each and every one of his kindred spirits… i.e., the ghoulish, gluttonous, Orwellian corporate “johns” who pay him, handsomely, to (figuratively?) drop his soiled, bunched up / loaded up drawers.

These “johns” will stop at nothing to grant that self-aggrandizing, propagandizing warper of public opinion ceaseless, limitless, national level, media exposure… allow him to fully expose himself… i.e., to indecently expose mindboggling levels of his ignorance.

To that end, Limbaugh routinely takes to the airwaves to incessantly bleat out his unintelligible, screeching, grunting, oinking noises. In a nutshell… that nut rails out against common sense… spits, claws and fights, tooth and nail, against mental health… especially his own.

More to the point, as of late, he’s been throwing around his considerable rhetorical and actual weight while… pulling out from his ass… his fiercely biased and uniquely ignorant notions about hurricanes and climate change.

In the wake of hurricane Harvey and while hurricane Irma is presently raging away in the Caribbean… check out how the climate change denying, know nothing, know-it-all Limbaugh recently raged on…

“Here comes a hurricane, local media goes on the air, ‘Big hurricane coming, oh, my God! Make sure you got batteries. Make sure you got water. It could be the worst ever. Have you seen the size of this baby? It’s already a Cat 5. Oh, my God, oh, my God, it’s bigger than the island of Haiti. Oh, my God.’ People run to the stores, they stock up everything, and they hoard. And they end up with vacant stores, nothing there. And it’s a big success. TV stations got eyeballs, the advertising businesses have sold out of business, gotta restock and the cycle repeats.”

“You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic. You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced.”

So there you have it… in one breath… Rush (likely intentionally) further fuels the already existing public panic. He lambastes the media, meteorologists and climate change scientists as if what? Any attempts at protecting the public and saving lives is a bad thing? As if what? He believes such reports muscle in on his absolute blackout of information? OMG, must his monopolization of the media be inclusive of no weather warnings, too?

Would it surprise anyone if… with his very next breath… while airing / airing out his rank sponsor’s commercials… we’d find the off microphone, giddy, greedy, opportunistic Limbaugh placing an on the QT phone call to his Wall Street broker… bleating buy orders for mega-shares of Eveready™, Duracell™, Evian™, Figi™, Perrier™, etc.? You know… for the express purpose of fattening up his already obese portfolio.

Stunningly, Limbaugh actually did make one spot-on comment…

“I wish that not everything that involved news had become corrupted and politicized, but it just has.”

What a pity that, all the while he’s been tirelessly working towards the wholesale detriment / destruction of our global society, Rush Limbaugh has been oblivious to the fact that it’s HE, who has been corrupting and politicizing damned nearly everything!

 

The Hot Tub: A Microcosm Of Planet Earth

 

When it comes down to the new DC régime’s pecking order, Mike Pence is Number 2.

Shortly after his boss had withdrawn America from the Paris Agreement, Mr. P publicly commented on issues of the environment. And one almost felt sorry for the li’l guy because he seemed to be genuinely mystified when he said…

“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world. It’s long been a goal of the liberal left in this country to advance a climate change agenda.”

Now Mr. P, there really is a reason and it is… or should be… nonpartisan. But let’s ease into this slowly. We lefties do realize that righties feel flummoxed by science. Nonetheless, you guys simply need to open up your minds… maybe just a tad? Meet us at least half way? OK?

Perhaps you’d gain a better understanding were this environmental stuff to hit home a bit more? And here’s where being a wallowing in wealth type of guy could actually come in handy. I mean, somewhere within your posh mansion, we would find a family sized hot tub, right?

Now let’s say you’ve worked up a profuse sweat from gutting government of all ethics and laying waste to our economy and ecology. Come the weekend would you not want to kick back and relax… to take a dip into all that warm bubbling water?

Perhaps, from time to time, even your wife Karen and your three kids, Audrey, Charlotte and Michael Jr. all hop in to join you?

Now let’s say on one particular weekend, you suddenly come down with a really nasty case of diarrhea… and by that I mean you’re, literally, unable to contain yourself. Under those circumstances, would you hop into the hot tub anyway? Expect your family to smile, say nothing and even remain soaking in the no longer clean water with you?

Of course not! You’re too refined to expect that, right?

Don’t you get it, Mr. P.? In this make-believe scenario, your hot tub is a microcosm of our climate change, warmed up planet… the fouled water analogous to our contaminated seven seas. You represent all of the world’s polluters who your admin enables… your family is akin to the family of man… all seven plus billion of us.

The obvious difference, here, is your spouse and offspring can easily make their escape.

However… on the grander scale, where in our vast universe would seven+ billion people run to?

Mr. P, are you beginning to see the big picture, now?

Decent, considerate folks… and yes you’re right… we’re mostly on the left… do understand that planet Earth is the only home we have. If we render our world utterly uninhabitable… shoot (oo = i) all over the place, as it were… there’s no other known, nearby, earthlike planet, within our vast universe, where humankind can seek refuge.

 

 

My Sanctuary City’s 5-Star Bistro / Birthing Centre

 

For the past several weeks, quite by surprise, I’ve found myself wearing a diverse array of occupational hats… e.g., proprietor/head chef of a five star bistro (which I hadn’t even known I owned)… silent partner of a suddenly “christened”, necessity is the mother of invention, birthing center… and mayor of a sanctuary city, as it were.

Now, lest I needlessly raise the hackles of overly zealous U.S. federal ICE agents and my own home state’s inspectors of eateries and medical facilities … it is with both sudden alarm and alacrity that I must point out that the hungry patrons (inclusive of a new mom) are none other than a family of rabbits. 1

Undoubtedly, these refugees had been displaced by urban sprawl… the dirty deeds of avarice driven, excessively capitalistic fools… i.e., those who have yet to “meet” a natural, pristine parcel of land that they would not hesitate to violate.

Yes, I do get it… with the level of our global human population on the rise, there is a real need to construct new housing. Even so, would not renovating rather than razing existing homes and apartments slow that sprawl and, in the same breath, be far friendlier to the environment? Would that not show proper consideration for the rabbits and other creatures, which humans are supposed to live in harmony with?

After all, every living organism has a purpose… provides a natural balance within our Creator’s (or if you’d prefer, Ma Nature’s) grand scheme. One would think that in the interest of interspecies amity, humans, allegedly the smartest creatures of all, could find it within their heads and hearts to favor the carrot over the stick?

One wonders if humankind will realize this stark reality soon enough to avert an environmental cataclysm? Time will tell… but… alas… time is also running out… rapidly.

Well, this kindly “mayor” has opted for the carrot… as it were… to welcome my newfound rabbit pals and what a pleasant experience co-existence has been for all. Each new day we’ve been sharing our sit down breakfasts and suppers together… I at my dining room table, indoors, while they’re nibbling away at whatever they choose, al fresco.

As for their specific dietary requirements, most of the lush, verdant, naturally, abundantly growing vegetation within my backyard provides them an “all you can eat” vast smorgasbord of culinary delights.

As for their delivery room / maternity ward needs, mother, instinctively, knows best.

So you can clearly see, my new furry friends are no trouble… not in the least.

Of course, I don’t take my newfound “mayoral” duties lightly. I have felt one overriding concern… namely, unless it’s found within the vegetation, itself, what and where is their water source? Albeit briefly, just as many a restaurateur would do, I did think about setting their “table” with a few shallow containers of water but… factoring in my legitimate worries about standing, summertime H2O being a breeding ground for disease carrying mosquitos (perhaps even inclusive of the Zika virus), “quick as a bunny”, I wisely nixed that notion.

Of course I had actually had nothing to worry about. If needed, located less than a kilometer down the road, there is a creek, which could amply quench their thirsts. For them, the travel time would be no prob, either. On the rare occasions where I’ve unintentionally spooked them, watching them race away in a blur, indeed, establishes how well deserved their “quick as a bunny” reputation truly is.

But even so, that short distance does seem a long way to go. Why would they prefer moving into my yard rather than dwelling closer to that stream? And why my yard vs. the yards of my next-door neighbors?

I think it’s fair to conclude that rabbits find better tasting vegetation growing within my “sanctuary city”. How could they not? Unlike far too many urbanites ISO the picture perfect lawn, I believe stinky lawn chemicals are a bane… not a boon… are likely carcinogens, too.

The perceptive nature of rabbits amply proves they are not dumb bunnies.

NOPE, such nomenclature would be far more appropriate in describing the money-grubbing, land grabbing developers, who so thoughtlessly (oft needlessly) invade and pave over natural habitats. And the same goes for the lawn chemical industry, which (soon afterwards) steps in to con ill-informed new (and current) homeowners into poisoning our entire planet.

 

1 Please keep in mind that my intent is not to trivialize the suffering of human war refugees and émigrés. Indeed, I believe this blog will demonstrate how man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.

 

 

One Quick Limerick (#009)

 

Grump’s hot air and hotheaded storming,

Like greenhouse gas generates global warming,

Freakish wind, rain, ice storms,

Have become the new “norms”,

Our weather ravaged, whole world is deforming!

 

 

One Quick Limerick (#007)

 

Old Grump snarled at Ma Nature, “F You!”

From the Paris Accord he withdrew,

It’s a damned shame Grump’s old man,

Had not conceived THIS game plan:

To always “exit” when his wife he knew!