"In the fall of 1969, the days grew shorter and colder and the colors of the maple, oak and elm trees in my little village in upstate New York were magnificent. It was and still is my favorite time of year. I don’t recall any specific Halloween before this and I can’t remember going Trick or Treating dressed as anything special but this year my parents wanted to dress me up as something called 'Howdy Doody.' My mother told me that he was some sort of television character from her childhood but I had no idea who this 'Howdy Doody' was—and what a bizarre name. She dressed me in dungarees and a red and white checked shirt with a bandana around my neck. She put bits of red yarn in my hair. With some of her make-up pencils, she drew freckles on my cheeks and two lines running down from the corners of my mouth. Then, my parents took me downtown and put me in the annual kid's Halloween parade and costume contest. My mom instructed me to walk by the judges with my arms up and swinging because, she explained, Howdy Doody was a marionette. Well, this wasn’t my idea, I had never even seen Howdy Doody, and I felt foolish walking along pretending my arms were dangling from strings. Obviously I was an image from my parents’ childhood which meant that I was also an image from the judges’ childhoods and that must explain why I won second place. I went up to accept my ribbon with some residual embarrassment but mostly being impressed that my mom knew what she was doing after all." --JEF
"This week, our nation has anxiously watched as Hurricane Sandy lashed the East Coast and caused widespread damage--affecting millions. Now more than ever, our neighbors need our help. Please consider donating or volunteering for your local aid organizations. The images of Sandy’s flooding brought back memories of a similar--albeit smaller scale-- event in Nashville just two years ago. There, unprecedented rainfall caused widespread flooding, wreaking havoc and submerging sections of my hometown. For me, the Nashville flood was a milestone. For many, Hurricane Sandy may prove to be a similar event: a time when the climate crisis—which is often sequestered to the far reaches of our everyday awareness became a reality. Sandy was also affected by other symptoms of the climate crisis. As the hurricane approached the East Coast, it gathered strength from abnormally warm coastal waters. At the same time, Sandy's storm surge was worsened by a century of sea level rise. Scientists tell us that if we do not reduce our emissions, these problems will only grow worse. Hurricane Sandy is a disturbing sign of things to come. We must heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis. Dirty energy makes dirty weather." --Al Gore, writing on his personal blog.
Is "the jury still out" now? How much more proof do we need?