THEGREENGROK

Signing Off Till Next Year: A Look Back at 2012


by Bill Chameides | December 17th, 2012
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

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This is not a happy time.

Twenty-seven people were murdered in Newtown, Conn.

Meanwhile, some six million Americans reportedly think the world will end with the Mayan calendar this Friday, and about 35 percent of Americans think the uptick in severe weather is a sign of the “end times” predicted in the Bible. (See the real story behind the Mayan calendar from NASA.)

Last week, we here at TheGreenGrok worked on a post to continue our annual tradition of light (but serious) fare before signing off for the year (see 2008, 2009, 2010, 2111). In an effort to try to grab a hold of some normalcy, even as we mourn for those affected by the tragedy in New England — which is really all of us — we share the results of our literary efforts to review 2012 from an environmental perspective.

Have a safe holiday and New Year. Let’s try to enjoy and cherish our universe and all it contains — it’s all we’ve got. See you on the other end of our — the Gregorian — calendar.

A Moore/Seuss hybrid poem

for 2012

‘Tis the end of the year and you know what that means
Lots of recaps, resolutions, holiday scenes.
There’ll be parties and eggnog and carols and giving —
Please forgive this departure; I’ve got some misgivings.
Not about holiday time or the need for good cheer
But about the state of the environment at the end of this year.
A lot has gone on but there’s so much unsettled,
My hackles are raised; in short I am nettled.

The problem? A carbon footprint that’s bigger and fatter
Some thirty-six billion tons bigger; that’s just part of the matter.

There’s fracking and problems with the water nearby.
We keep testing fracking areas, find methane, ask why.
So we test more and more, find more matchings with methane
But they say it’s safe so the fracking remains.

The storm known as Sandy (which was three storms in one)
Left her mark on the north; the cleanup’s just begun.
The incredible devastation makes me wonder what to expect
As the temps keep on climbing, the carbon unchecked.

Makes me shudder to think of my neighbors in NC.
Who live on the coast where they’ll rely on history
To plan and develop, to build, zone and buy
As the waters keep rising and they turn a blind eye.

But hold on to your horses, your sun hats and such
It seems Super Sandy’s made folks a little less out of touch
A new bill’s in the works for the folks on the coast:
As sea levels rise, if your property becomes toast,
You’ll tap your tax-free account of rainy-day money
To rebuild (further back?). I don’t find it funny,

Sticking our heads in the sands as more time just passes
It’s December aught 12, almost the end of classes.
And the COP that just ended produced so much nothing
It’s like a Christmas stocking stuffed with nothing but stuffing.

No follow-up to Kyoto, no binding CO2 cuts
Just talking and talking and talking, it’s nuts.
But on Friday EPA announced something’s afoot
A bright spot on the horizon: soon there’ll be much less soot?

So not all is a loss, not all is bad cheer.
But I’m hoping against hope, things’ll be better next year.

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  1. Another Week of GW News, December 23, 2012 – A Few Things Ill Considered - [...] 2012/12/17: GreenGrok: Signing Off Till Next Year: A Look Back at 2012 [...]

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