As I started writing
this, climate change arrived in Marblehead. The rainy dampness was
finally replaced with bright sunshine; the yellow forsythia was
joined by various kinds of pink and white blossoms, and my
daffodils, lasting longer than usual, smiled down on the spreading
violets, and look, dandelions!
Oh wait, it’s changing
again. Sun moves behind thick clouds, air feels cold, as CNN
change is here and will only worsen. Get used to more flooding,
wildfires and drought, depending on where you live. Cities and
states across America already are spending lots of money to respond.
“Those are the
take-home messages of a new White House report released Tuesday that
is part of President Barack Obama’s second-term effort to prepare
the nation for the impacts of a changing climate such as rising sea
levels and increasingly erratic weather.”
That’s it, erratic
weather. Happening right here in Marblehead as I put on my flannel
shirt again. I think the sea will be rising at least twice today,
Yes, I’m in a
global-disaster-denial mood, having sat through Monday night’s Town
Meeting at which the global warming/climate change types passed a
ban on plastic bags in Marblehead. I predict this will spread to
other North Shore communities until there are no more small plastic
grocery bags crawling out of the big plastic trash bags at the
bottom of the landfill and climbing the nearest tree or hiking to
the nearest beach to choke sea creatures.
First, I must tell you
that I shop with cloth bags when I remember to grab one of the 12 I
have in the backseat of my car. When I forget, or buy more than I
expected, I’m glad to get some plastic ones to clean the litter box
and reuse for other household chores.
Next, I must tell you
that I’m so fed up with liberals telling me how to live that I’m
starting to resist anything they want even when it’s reasonable.
After the Town Meeting vote, I feel silly carrying my cloth bag into
the store, as if I’m one of those people who actually believe Al
Gore is an environmentalist instead of a giant hypocritical carbon
footprint, flying around the world in its private jet preaching
electric cars to the common folk.
A proponent complained
that some rude folks were snickering during the Town Meeting debate;
that would include me. As The Salem News reported, “Photos depicted
the bags ruining the town’s scenic views, fluttering about historic
buildings and fouling the seaside, getting wrapped around trees and
propellers, and choking marine animals.” In which alternate-universe
Marblehead? I drove around town today, didn’t see one discarded bag.
American cities, like Chicago, which have the ban. Opponent Ed
Friedman responded that “nothing could give me a more warm and fuzzy
feeling than being like Chicago,” which is ranked second in the
nation for dangerous neighborhoods.
They also listed all
the other countries that have banned the bags, including some that
came late to banning genocide. I admit I snickered when I saw
Bangladesh on the list and asked my pal Jack Buba, sitting behind
me, “Won’t global warming put that whole place underwater soon?” He
replied that they could use plastic bags to make sails for little
Obnoxious or not,
laughter is the best medicine for the disease of liberalism: not to
cure liberals, but to prevent oneself and other innocent bystanders
from catching some of the symptoms like climate hysteria.
I’m an environmentalist
when I’m hanging out with libertarians like Henry David Thoreau,
whose “Walden” is not only pro-environment but anti-Big Government.
When statist liberals show up to try to use weather to increase
their control over the economy and over us all, I go contrarian;
it’s the only way to get balance back. It’s better to laugh at them
than to follow my other instinct, which is to dump all the paper,
cans and bottles in my recycling bins into a trash bag and send them
to a landfill or incinerator. That would be childish.
Sun is back, gorgeous
spring day. Other than the bag ban, Town Meeting went well; we voted
to say the Pledge of Allegiance, with only one person speaking in
opposition, and we voted against the so-called Community
Preservation Act (CPA). It helped that the Board of Selectmen,
Finance Committee and assessors were adamantly against it.
I know other readers
here live in communities that have accepted the CPA. One thing that
I’ve always thought wrong is that citizens who can get
age/income-related exemptions from the new tax can vote to increase
the property tax on others who aren’t eligible for this break. In
Marblehead, voters have to increase taxes on themselves for a Prop
2˝ debt exclusion that buys open space, does historic
preservation, etc. Seems more fair.
Proponents said they
wouldn’t accept the vote of Town Meeting but would collect
signatures to put the new tax on a town ballot anyhow.
Where’d the sun go? I
think it’s going to rain tonight, as the world turns and the climate