Sept. 29, 2019
The change of seasons reminded me that it was time to re-visit Jack Wright’s blacksmith shop and get a new set of shoes for Hubris. If the seasonal change hadn’t reminded me, Hubris would have! Getting a new pair of shoes before the start of the new school year was a significant event when I was a kid growing up in Missouri. I got what we called ‘hard’ shoes in the fall and a new pair of ‘sneakers’ just before summer vacation. However, by the time I moved to New Mexico, my school years were long past, my feet had stopped growing, and the only indicators of the fall seasonal change were the cottonwoods turning gold, the Jack Daniel’s calendar hanging in the barn and Hubris’ seasonal need for a new set of shoes which were to be put on him by the farriers at Jack Wright’s blacksmith’s shop.
Fortunately, for Hubris and I, ‘climate change’ hasn’t affected life in New Mexico as severely as it has some of the coastal areas of our not-so-United-anymore States. I’d be having thoughts of relocating if we lived along the south-east, gulf, or California coastal areas. I have noticed brief articles in our local newspaper about our summer temperatures averaging several degrees hotter than usual but I haven’t really been here long enough to know what ‘usual’ is and some St. Louis summers were hotter and cooler than any I have ever experienced here in New Mexico. I’ve read enough about the climate and geological history of our planet Earth to know and understand that it has gone through severe and lengthy cycles of temperature and oceanic changes over the millions of years of its existence. I wouldn’t expect that human population could be the cause of disastrous climate change if I hadn’t lived as a child during the early years of industrial St. Louis when Dad had to turn the car head-lights on—long after sunrise—to see the road ahead when we were going from Ferguson in the northern suburbs to downtown St. Louis where his factory was located. As we approached the city of St. Louis boundary line, it became pitch dark due to coal smoke pollution. Or, being in Beijing, China in the winter when the smoke and particulate dirt of industrial pollution was so bad thousands of its citizens died every winter of lung failure. Because of those experiences, I can now understand how the micro-pollution problems of yesterday can lead to the macro-environmental problems our world is facing today. Getting fully industrialized countries to take remedial action should be easy because those countries can afford it. Getting those countries which are working their way to that goal will be difficult—because they can’t afford to do it. Getting all of the world’s countries to work together to slow the effects of human induced climate change will probably be impossible—just because those last two groups far outnumber the first one . Just imagine a not-to-distant future in which all of the world’s population has to choose between climate or nuclear catastrophe. That’s the stuff of science fiction or, maybe, scientific and present day political reality.
That’s also the ‘stuff’ our fearless political leaders are doing their best to totally ignore. I’ve been ranting about ‘the failure of leadership’ in our country (and most of the rest of our political world) so long that even my children are sick and tired of reading my books or blogs. Maybe they will feel differently about my written screams of protest when they find themselves up to their asses (or necks, if this gets in the newspapers) in alligators and the idiots who govern us are still out on their country club’s golf course or on a private visit to Mar-a-Lego for a weekend visit with their Prince of ‘Getting a Bigger Piece of the Pie at Any Cost’, our President, Donald Trump. If ever our country has had a figure-head who represents the ultimate of personal avarice, greed, corruption, and stupidity we have one now! This is truly a situation in which our electorate has gotten exactly what it wanted—and deserved!
As if the Mueller investigation wasn’t enough, we now have the ‘Whistle-blower” of, let’s call it “The Ukrainian Affair”, report to remind us of Trump’s criminalization of the office of President of the United States. POTUS must have a very thick skin, the Republican congress persons a very low (or, perhaps, non-existent) moral conscience, and the Democratic congress members the courage of a flock of shepherd-less sheep. It has been intellectually sickening to notice how all those listed above seem to care only about their future elect-ability and not one wit about the avarice and greed infected disease permeating our electorate and its’ chosen government that could hasten the end of our never more tenuous than now democracy.
So, Hubris and I went to Jack Wright’s place to get his new shoes. We not only got new shoes for Hubris, we got an ear-full of the confusion of Jack’s bunch over the fragile state of their political ‘leadership’s’ vulnerability. I was a bit surprised to hear talk of impending economic chaos added to their list of concerns. If they only had to be concerned about the possible impeachment of their fearless leader, they might get through the next election with their control of the Senate intact. But, an economic recession or, god-forbid, another ‘Great Depression’ and it would probably be thirty years or more before a Republican would occupy the White House again or their party would control any branch of government above the ‘janitorial’ level. Even Rudy might lose his license to practice his version of ‘law’ and they all realized what a serious blow to their organization that would be. The mood in Jack’s place was so dour that Hubris said, “Let’s get out of here before the undertakers come!” So, still being of sound mind and slightly aging body, I took Hubris’ tether off the farriers’ customer restraint pole, mounted up, and with a hearty Hi Ho Hubris, Aawaay! we were off of Jack’s headquarters property and headed back to the ranch for cocktail—and a flake of alfalfa—time.
Copyright September 29, 2019, Louis J. Christen