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Are YOU Ready?

Society & Culture  (tags: preapredness, disaster, readiness, safety, psychology )

- 3612 days ago -
Examination of the physical and psychological reasons many, if not most, of us are unprepared for the next big disaster.

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RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:06 pm
My own take?

I think many of use feel that if a truly horrific disaster struck or was about to, nothing we can do will save us.

. (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:28 pm
i want to move to canada

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:31 pm
One thing people often forget or don't realize is all these disasters in nature have happened time & time again over the mellenia. Of course 911 was a man made disaster and that disaster happened because we are here.

Man is here in all OUR vulgar numbers of six billion souls. If we weren't here obviously we would not know of the naturalness of the events. And we have contributed emmensely to all of the naturalness in it's speed & distruction from global warming.

Certainly the animals have not brought on earthquakes, floods, fires and disappearnace opf thousands of animals & plant life.

No matter of it all......We are here in the billions and billions will die as soon as things get bad enough and soon enough is just around the corner as I sense it.

We are not prepared & even if we were it would not do any good considering the magnitude of whats to come.


RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:33 pm
That won't save you from bird flu, nuclear contamination, or an enemy attack (((barb)))

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:34 pm
Bette, that's just do you save yourself from nuclear fallout spread by winds around the world? Or an unforeseen attack or natural disaster? And if some government launches a war on our home turf, hiw can you as an individual stop it? Of course, we haven't yet figured out a "civilized" way to save ourselves from the BUSHCo Nazis, either...

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:35 pm
I suppose if bird flu became endemic, staying inside and away from all others ould save you, IF you have the provisions to carry you through as long as it takes.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:36 pm

I was just remembering air raid drills when I was in grade school (when we were all scared outta our wits over Russians). All of the kids were taught to go to the gymnasium in the basement and fold themselves over the person in front of them.

Uh huh . . . and that will protect us from an atom bomb? LOL

Thanks, Cate.

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:39 pm
Oh hell, Carole, WE had to crawl under our ancient wooden and metal desks and crouch there interminably...perfect targets for imploding glass from the huge high classroom windows...LOL!

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:42 pm

(I'm still laughing about it!) Hell, I had nightmares for years as a little girl about troops of Russians crashing through our front door! And every time I'd get on a bus, there'd be that poster of Kruschev banging his shoe on a desk! Talk about government fearmongering.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:43 pm
Many of you have read the follwing.......
No truer words were ever spoken or written.

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river poisoned and the last
fish caught will we realize
We can not eat money.......


Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:44 pm
Yeah those videos where they have kids hide under desks are a hoot. ;)

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:53 pm
Cate......Obama knows how to save us cause Michelle to him. Think about that for awhile!!


Karen B (289)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 12:59 pm
Those thoughts are truly frightening. Preparedness seems to always be on the back burner. And I feel there isn't any way the government would be able to handle whatever will come. What good will Bushco's relationship with Big Oil do for us when the chips are down? For those of us that live in less-populated areas, sometimes it might help, other situations it might be detrimental. I guess all we can really change is the way we are prepared. I'm always stocked with water and my pantry hold various canned and dried foods. The big picture is the federal, state and local levels. How do we impress upon them that they need to step up to the plate instead of just "committing" to think about it.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:08 pm
lol.....Michelle told him.....forgot that!!

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:10 pm
Our beautiful world is changing no doubt...changing in environmental, terroists and morality disasters. I myself will cling to the one thing that I know stays stable and that is God and His wisdom, power ,love and understanding...I can almost imagine the tears in His eyes as He sees the world that He loves dearly being destroyed. I will clilng to God no matter what.

Jim P (3257)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:19 pm
If an atomic bomb hit the SF bay area, and I'm outside, I think I'll just stand there and watch the pretty fireball...

As for jitters about a pre-election terrorist attack, that rumor was started by bushy's publicist of what a potential scenario he could throw at us... to take over this country as King Fascist.

As for a natural disaster, we all have the terrific example of Katrina - remember that scenario... heckuva job Brownie and FEMA.

Gosh, I had forgotten about the classroom air raid drills... That was sooo long ago...

I get cranky when the high school kids up at the coffee shop do not know what the Supreme Court is all about. Just had to throw that in this "discussion". lol...

TY, Cate.


Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:48 pm
we will be perfectly fine, With all the duck tape and plastic you can buy at wal-mart or your local dollar store. The govt. said so. It is just as good as hiding under a wooden desk at school.

JoAnne Perdue (50)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:54 pm
If something were to happen where I might have some kind of chance I would want to be up in the hills of Tennessee where I could hopefully live off the land. That was my plan years ago and maybe I could muster up the moxie to do it now, just got to look out for those rattlesnakes in the warmer months..

David Gould (155)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:56 pm
I write this on the eve of the third anniversary of losing Helen to a terrorist bomb in London (7/7). Nothing could have prepared us for the hell of the last three years. But had we known in advance what would we have done? If one knows of events before hand and tries to avert them then you didn't see it true in the first place.
There is only one way to live life and that is to have faith in a higher it God, Allah, Jehovah give you the strength to survive whatever comes your way.
There are two Scottish expressions that I often think about. the first is "whatever is for you won't go by you" & "Ye canna avoid the future be it fine or no."
So chin up, shoulders back and face whatever comes with fortitude, courage and the hope it never comes to it.

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 1:58 pm
To whatever set-up gouvernments can think of ...
Haarp, sending out vibrations, to initiate another tsunami, or hurricane ?
What else can we all think of to ruin our world ?
I'm ready for making contact to the aliens, not for our gouvernments.

serge vrabec (278)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 2:09 pm
I'm almost ready! "Lose your fear , change is here"- author unknown. Thx Cate!

Evert- Problem is the Gov't is obviously in touch with the wrong ones already! Make sure they are benevolent if you really do want contact!

Linda H (199)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 2:26 pm
Thanks,Cate! I guess the question is really are we ready for potential death?
I leave it to God! My life has been lived and I try to be kind to all.The unexpected would be interesting Like aliens,if friendly. Snakes I'm not sure of I've meet too many!I guess I'm just putting my head between my legs and kissing my Ass goodbye LOL Very interesting~!

Linda H (199)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 2:26 pm
I guess I set here and worry about my babies!

Merry L (74)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 2:57 pm
Thank you all for your comments. I'm with Cate & Carole (and some others)-there really isn't much we will be able to do, but watch & wait. I can see our homes boarded up, rafts, lots of food etc in storage. Not gonna help much is we are bombed (or lose the home to water).

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:00 pm
LOL Jodi...JohnMichael, shut up, ya pup! *wink* Carole, I remember hiding in the stairwell the night Kennedy spoke about the Cuban parents didn't know I was up and listening...and I had diarrhea all night thinking we were going to be bombed in our sleepa!

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:02 pm
Bette, I love that Native American wisdom, and I wish governments would remember it when they despoil Mother Earth and Mother Ocean and the air we breathe. I wish they would remember it when they kill off specie and specie of animal. I wish they would remember it when they huddle in their death labs concocting poisons with which to kill enemies.

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:03 pm
Jim,GROWN-UPS never give a thought to how the make-up of the Supreme Court influences our think kids will if nobody teaches them???

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:03 pm
of HOW the Supreme Court, that is....early-onset alztypos...LOL

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:05 pm
David dearest, you and I, we are living our hell here on earth. I don't fear death that the worst thing that could happen has happened to me (and I daresay to you), what is there to be afraid of?

RC d (418)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:17 pm
For those having trouble getting into the Times:

Are You Ready for the Next Disaster?
Mother Nature goes to extremes in the summer, spoiling the gift of good weather with hurricanes, heat waves, fires and floods. This year she started early. On May 2, Cyclone Nargis laid waste to large parts of Myanmar. According to the latest counts, the disaster left 2.4 million people destitute, more than 50,000 missing and at least 84,000 dead. On May 12, China’s Sichuan Province suffered an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale. China’s state media reported that more than five million people lost their homes; an estimated 80,000 people, many of them children, were killed.

What prevents us from preparing for disasters? Some of the reasons are readily apparent. Bad advice and false alarms discourage all of us from listening to authorities; the government’s calls for us to build atomic shelters or heed code-orange alerts have done more harm than good. For the poor, scrambling to make it through the small crises of everyday life is far more urgent than planning for a possible emergency, and investing time in preparedness efforts seems relatively unimportant. For everyone, there are opportunity costs involved in preparing yourself and your family for a catastrophe that’s unlikely to happen.

But the puzzle persists. The great majority of us believe that there are things we can do to reduce our vulnerability (and our family’s too), and we have enough time and money to do them. So what’s keeping us?

Rather than speculate, in 2006 I organized a series of focus groups and interviews with New York City residents (some prepared, some unprepared, some who were here on 9/11, some who arrived after). One major concern I heard was that there are simply too many things to worry about. Participants complained about having to prepare for too many specific disaster possibilities and in turn feeling overwhelmed, if not helpless. Their list of disasters was daunting: another terrorist attack, perhaps a dirty bomb that would require evacuation, or an assault on the subways. An infectious disease. A heat wave leading to prolonged power outages (like the regional one in 2003, or the Queens outage of 2006). A hurricane.

The problem, some said, is that each situation requires a different survival strategy. It’s hard to keep track of all the details without turning yourself into a survivalist and scaring off your family and friends. If there’s a heat wave, for instance, we’re told to drink plenty of water, check up on neighbors and go to cooling centers. If there’s smallpox or avian flu, we should avoid social contact. If there’s a dirty bomb and we’re fortunate enough to be far from the detonation, we evacuate. Wait — maybe we hunker down?

This leads to another issue. If megadisaster strikes, many people worry that they won’t have access to reliable information on how to protect themselves. After Katrina, there is widespread distrust of government officials and (despite their fine performance in New Orleans) of many in the media too. There’s also the question of whether communications channels will be open. Land lines, mobile-phone networks and Internet connections have failed during recent crises. Televisions and computers are useless when the power is out. Not everyone owns a battery-operated radio, and those who do can’t be confident that their local stations have reporters on hand to guide them out of harm’s way.

Beyond that, many people simply don’t want to live in a culture of preparedness. The notion is off-putting, and downright scary for some, because it seems to place fear and defensiveness at the center of our public and private lives. Careful planning means dwelling on the uncomfortable topics of our own mortality, the vulnerability of our loved ones and the fragility of our planet, and there’s a psychological price to be paid for that.

It’s little wonder that we are loath to acknowledge the hazards we face. It’s easier to hope for good luck. But with the threats of climate change, violent weather, unconventional warfare and uncontrollable diseases lurking everywhere, it’s hard to maintain a rational case against basic preparedness. We can (and should) argue about the excesses of our new homeland-security policies, but isn’t developing a household emergency plan something all of us can (and should) do?

Improving disaster preparedness is not merely a personal matter. Despite recent government blunders, there are many ways that public agencies and nongovernmental organizations can help. Start with the basics. A home emergency kit should not be a luxury item. The Department of Homeland Security, now the poster child for wasteful spending, could work with groups like the Red Cross to distribute subsidized emergency supplies to the poor. It could also do more to train and support the cash-strapped local organizations that protect vulnerable people on an everyday basis, because (as we learned in New Orleans) when disaster strikes, their ability to maintain operations will determine the fate of those most at risk. In San Francisco, the Fritz Institute recently developed the path-breaking BayPrep program, which helps local social-service agencies measure their disaster preparedness and become more disaster-resilient. It should be a national model, not a local exception contingent upon philanthropic financing, as it is today.

We must also recognize that community organization is essential for disaster preparation. The two deadliest recent U.S. environmental disasters, Katrina and the 1995 Chicago heat wave, highlighted the vulnerability of socially isolated people, for whom the safe house becomes a tomb. Efforts to build strong, durable connections among neighbors, local organizations, businesses and government agencies will help improve community resilience in crises of all kinds. Here, reputation to the contrary, New Yorkers are exemplary. Consider the way they supported one another on 9/11 and during the blackout of 2003. Or the fact that participants in my focus groups, even those who were reluctant to prepare on their own, said they believed that they’ll be able to rely on co-workers, neighbors and fellow citizens when the next disaster strikes. When everyone has reason to feel this way, we’ll be more secure than we are today.

Wealthy nations are much better protected from the so-called natural hazards, but by no means have they been spared this year. Consider the U.S. in June: Iowa experienced a deluge of historic proportions, with large-scale crop destruction spiking the cost of food and raising fears of an inflationary spiral. California, where the driest two months of spring on record turned grass and brush into kindling, endured more than 1,000 wildfires and braced for more to come. On the East Coast, more than 30 people perished during the kind of heat wave that usually comes in July or August.

Is there anything we can do to avert such dangers? These days, of course, extreme weather is only one of the many perils we face. Terrorist attacks or technological accidents involving nuclear weapons; pandemic diseases that cannot be cured; comets and asteroids that could wipe out the human race. We live in an age of risk assessment and risk analysis, when doomsday scenarios have become daily anxieties, and planning for improbable but world-changing events has become a focus of disaster policy.

Now, with disaster season upon us and renewed jitters about a pre-election terrorist attack, government officials and nonprofits are urging us to plan for the next catastrophe. The Council for Excellence in Government offers an online R.Q. test to measure your “readiness quotient.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is promoting a range of “Cities Readiness Initiatives” for public-health emergencies. And the White House has pledged to “foster a Culture of Preparedness that permeates all levels of society,” so that families, businesses and government agencies make emergency planning an everyday concern.

Historically, however, public-preparedness campaigns have proved to be even less successful than the current administration’s attempts at disaster relief. The obstacles are formidable. Disaster psychology tells us that few of us judge the risk of prospective hazards accurately, or take sensible precautions even if we do. We may believe that something terrible will happen in our nation or even our in city, but we tend to think it won’t touch us directly. Moreover, we’re often skeptical of official advice about public safety.

Consider the cold war. During the 1950s, that golden age of trust, compliance and conformity, the federal government encouraged communities to develop civil-defense programs to reduce the harm from prospective military attacks. According to Irwin Redlener, author of “Americans at Risk: Why We Are Not Prepared for Megadisasters and What We Can Do Now,” surveys at the time showed that although nearly two-thirds of Americans thought that nuclear war was possible, only 4.5 percent of U.S. citizens participated in civil-defense programs, and 6.5 percent “said they would follow instructions of civil-defense wardens” in an attack. Nineteen percent “said they did not know what they would do or they would do nothing.”

Even when people live in close proximity to major hazards, they may not take an interest in preparedness. In the 1970s, the sociologist Peter Rossi reported that in California, where he did an influential study of nine disaster-prone communities, “earthquakes are seen to be substantially less serious” than inflation, welfare, crime and even pornography. This, he wrote, was a “truly stunning result.”

All of this, of course, predates 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, pivotal moments in America’s relationship to disasters and emergency planning. Or were they? In July and October 2005, the N.Y.U. Center for Catastrophe Preparedness and Response found that 50 percent of survey respondents reported their preparedness level as “about the same” after 9/11 as it was before, while 4 percent said they were either “somewhat less prepared” or “much less prepared.” A second study showed that Americans responded to Katrina by losing confidence in the government’s ability to assist in crises and losing interest in their own.

New Yorkers were no exception. According to another N.Y.U. survey conducted in 2006, 50 percent of residents said they have an emergency supply kit in their homes, yet only one-third of those with kits had enough food and water to last three days. More than half the respondents said that, if they had to evacuate, they would drive or take a taxi, despite frequent warnings about gridlock. Some 36 percent said they have no household emergency plan whatsoever and no way to reunite with family or friends during a crisis.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 3:17 pm

Oh, yeah . . . the Cuban missile crisis. I remember our government/econ. teacher trying to calm all of the students about it. He asked us, basically, did we really think the world's most powerful country would actually allow its citizens to be threatened by a foreign enemy? (cleverly, never mentioning our own government)

That calmed me until I was in my late teens, when I started reading the news. (But, at least, I got a few good years of sleep. LOL)

Blacktiger P (247)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 4:02 pm
Did none of you watch the TV serial "Jericho"???? That is exactly what people will do in the event of atom or hydrogen bomb attacks,,,It will be "take care of oneself" and B*g*er the rest of the community.

David Brown (11)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 4:11 pm
love > fear

Jeannine P (44)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 4:25 pm
we moved away from the city and costal shore, still 45 mins to another city, 1200 ft above sea level, yet i dont know how safe for sure, you never know where a storm will hit. garden, garden, garden, chickens, and pray the naeighbors have enough. need to go solar and get a wood stove too. if nothing happens, at least we sill save on energy and food

Joycey B (750)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 5:39 pm
There is nothing left for me to say. Everyone has said it all.I love everyones comments. Noted with thanks Cate.

Gorilly Girl (339)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 5:41 pm
Shoot Gorilly is going to stand and take the full dose I dont wanna be here all metaphorsed into some freaky looking thing.....LOL

Big Gorilly Hugs

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 6:04 pm
haha I knew that was coming Cate!

Gail L (30)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 7:10 pm

Melissa Kush (3)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 8:15 pm
Just 7.5 years ago my mum, and even my daughter was stocking up on water, canned goods etc...thinking that the computers (Y2K) not turning over to 2000 would cause a world wide crisis and food shortage. I asked my companion at the time, if he was going to get a generator, just in case.

He said, "I'll wait until it's over and get one when they go on sale."

ROTFLMAO! Good, ol Schneider-man, I kinda miss that funny guy.

But I do think that we should all buy duct tape and plastic to cover the windows...or better yet, I'll saran wrap myself up like a cocoon. Then I'll be ready. *blowin the dust off my duct tape*

Sandra M Z (114)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 8:15 pm
I know people with rice, beans, etc. in jars. Water saved up. I can't seem to go there, even though I believe food/water will be scarce or prohibitive$$$$$. We could be lined up like we remember Russians doing, waiting for whatever food, products, a person might get.

Agree with all the comments. Agree w/Evert, how can you escape, or save yourself from something like HAARP vibrations(disaster in our country's breadbox, retaliation? for China?), chemtrails, plus all the stuff we regularly get dosed with, on and on.......?

Jim, we just had Sue Metgers here on the news the other night, the new FEMA head who came over from Homeland Security. FEMA has learned a lot from Katrina and she compared the Windsor CO tornado (which did do a lot of damage) to Katrina(Katrina being 10,000X more disasterous). With the teamwork, communication, etc. going on now, crisis victims can rest assured they will be taken care of. LOL!!! I'm with U and Gorillygirl.

Carole, we had to get under our desks after the siren drill went off. Then walk home very quickly and orderly when told to. All the while Dow Chemical was turning a 50-mile radius out from my home town into a Superfund site! That was the drill in reality, still in progress!
I've also seen a Denver City issued pamphlet from the 50's. It had a bullseye~like map from downtown out, detailing the destruction ratings if Denver was bombed with a nuke. If you were in the inner ring, you were a goner. The next ring out, maybe 2 miles, you would suffer some repercussions. The outer perimeter of the city, you'd be OK! The propoganda hasn't changed, but it's gotten way more sophisticated.

Cate, very interesting topic and I think a good one for all of us here in the U.S. Survival may be harder than we most can imagine, or impossible depending on what happens. Noted, thank you for another great post.

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 8:21 pm

Thanks, Sandra.

I'm just glad to know there are still a few people alive who remember it. LOL

Sandra M Z (114)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 9:29 pm
Carole, A friend at the antique mall has a civi defense hardhat from the 60's in his booth. I think I may purchase it and wear in in a new avatar picture LOL LOL LOL. I'm serious, I work tomorrow I hope it's still I'll have it in readiness when the **** comes down!

Sandra M Z (114)
Sunday July 6, 2008, 9:30 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Cate because you have done so within the last week.

Hans L (958)
Monday July 7, 2008, 3:04 am
What is the next big desaster? Fascism all over the world like in Austria?

Target: Chancellor Gusenbauer, President Heinz Fischer, Minister Fekter and Berger

The undersigned express deep concern at what appears to be an attempt to criminalise the animal advocacy movement
and to stifle the political freedom of those involved in it.

Margaret P (76)
Monday July 7, 2008, 6:52 am close friends had a fallout shelter in their backyard....It never got used for the purpose intended......I refuse to walk around in fear....que sera sera.....

Past Member (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 12:02 pm




March for Freedom, Peace and Prosperity
July 12, 2008
Washington, DC



Past Member (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 2:57 pm
A man whose job it is to go into collapsed buildings wrote an article about what to do in a collpsing building. DO NOT GET UNDER A TABLE!! He said that there are never survivors under tables/desk, but that to the sides of the table, a triangle/pyramid shaped empty space gets formed and that he finds survivors there. (A practical tip that I want you all to know.)

RC d (418)
Monday July 7, 2008, 4:18 pm
Thanks, Rochelle...good thing to keep in mind.

Past Member (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 4:32 pm
Jody thanks for the laugh LOL.
I was one of those school kids under the desk myself and no plastic and duct tape will help you for long if your at ground zero of a nuclear attack.
Other natural disasters I think I can handle ,,I have been through the hurricanes ,the worse one I saw in my lifetime was Carol which distroyed Island Park and I am sure many other area's I didn't even know about .
As far as preparing for a citizens arrest if I am not in lock step with the government well I have some provisions and a plan A and B .

Edwin Purcell (178)
Monday July 7, 2008, 7:22 pm
Does it strike anyone that there are an unusual amount of disasters lately? I think Mother is unhappy with the rape of the environment. If you follow it, there is a major earthquake almost everyday someh=where in the world. The first half of this year has produced more tornados in the US than the previous record for an entire year. Remember the tsunamis? The earthquakes that hit Iran and Pakistan? Katrina, etc, etc. Something is going on here.

. (0)
Monday July 7, 2008, 7:22 pm
Just try stockpiling enough supplies to last 6 months let alone a year or two. The government doesn’t want you to be prepared and neither does businesses. Sam’s Club has restrictions in place to prevent stockpiling. The government has passed laws making it illegal to stockpile food under the guise of anti-hording laws. Stores that carry food stocks in bulk packaging generally also have some means of identifying the purchaser. Many grocery stores have discount cards for their regular costumers. They have a complete record of everything you have bought since you first obtained that card. If you use a credit card to make a purchase there is a record of that purchase. Just like in the intelligence network where key words trigger an alert so do certain purchases. When the world food crisis hits the U.S. our government will know exactly who they can arrest for hording and will confiscate the food they have stockpiled. If you are intent on stockpiling for a disaster do it with cash at outlets that do not identify you by name or address. You may also want to keep the fact that you are preparing to yourself because if it is learned you are stockpiling your name will go to the top of the list because you are trying to do it in secret.

Estella Ameigh (22)
Monday July 7, 2008, 9:04 pm
The simple truth. If it is meant to be it will be if it isn't meant to be
it won't be. I choose to live each day peacefully and be thankful for every
day above ground. I know in my heart that God loves me and when my time on earth comes to an end that if I reach up as high as I can that God will
take my hand and lead me home. Right now I am thankful for today and all
of the wonderful people here on care 2. Find the JOY in every day and live
fully for as long as you can. Be HAPPY. :)

Maria S (38)
Tuesday July 8, 2008, 5:16 pm
This topic made me think of this--I recycle and try to be mindful and responsible during my existence here, am against mistreatment of the planet and its inhabitants, but this is a perspective to consider while discussing this subject:

George Carlin's "The Planet Is Fine"

We're so self-important. So self-important. Everybody's going to save something now. "Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails." And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. What? Are these f*cking people kidding me? Save the planet, we don't even know how to take care of ourselves yet. We haven't learned how to care for one another, we're gonna save the f*cking planet?

I'm getting tired of that sh*t. Tired of that sh*t. I'm tired of f*cking Earth Day, I'm tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is there aren't enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world save for their Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don't give a sh*t about the planet. They don't care about the planet. Not in the abstract they don't. Not in the abstract they don't. You know what they're interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They're worried that some day in the future, they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn't impress me.

Besides, there is nothing wrong with the planet. Nothing wrong with the planet. The planet is fine. The PEOPLE are f*cked. Difference. Difference. The planet is fine. Compared to the people, the planet is doing great. Been here four and a half billion years. Did you ever think about the arithmetic? The planet has been here four and a half billion years. We've been here, what, a hundred thousand? Maybe two hundred thousand? And we've only been engaged in heavy industry for a little over two hundred years. Two hundred years versus four and a half billion. And we have the CONCEIT to think that somehow we're a threat? That somehow we're gonna put in jeopardy this beautiful little blue-green ball that's just a-floatin' around the sun?

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles...hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worlwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages...And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet...the planet...the planet isn't going anywhere. WE ARE!

We're going away. Pack your sh*t, folks. We're going away. And we won't leave much of a trace, either. Thank God for that. Maybe a little styrofoam. Maybe. A little styrofoam. The planet'll be here and we'll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet'll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. A surface nuisance.

You wanna know how the planet's doing? Ask those people at Pompeii, who are frozen into position from volcanic ash, how the planet's doing. You wanna know if the planet's all right, ask those people in Mexico City or Armenia or a hundred other places buried under thousands of tons of earthquake rubble, if they feel like a threat to the planet this week. Or how about those people in Kilowaia, Hawaii, who built their homes right next to an active volcano, and then wonder why they have lava in the living room.

The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we're gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, 'cause that's what it does. It's a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed, and if it's true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new pardigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn't share our prejudice towards plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn't know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, "Why are we here?" Plastic...*sshole.

So, the plastic is here, our job is done, we can be phased out now. And I think that's begun. Don't you think that's already started? I think, to be fair, the planet sees us as a mild threat. Something to be dealt with. And the planet can defend itself in an organized, collective way, the way a beehive or an ant colony can. A collective defense mechanism. The planet will think of something. What would you do if you were the planet? How would you defend yourself against this troublesome, pesky species? Let's see... Viruses. Viruses might be good. They seem vulnerable to viruses. And, uh...viruses are tricky, always mutating and forming new strains whenever a vaccine is developed. Perhaps, this first virus could be one that compromises the immune system of these creatures. Perhaps a human immunodeficiency virus, making them vulnerable to all sorts of other diseases and infections that might come along. And maybe it could be spread sexually, making them a little reluctant to engage in the act of reproduction.

Well, that's a poetic note. And it's a start. And I can dream, can't I? See I don't worry about the little things: bees, trees, whales, snails. I think we're part of a greater wisdom than we will ever understand. A higher order. Call it what you want. Know what I call it? The Big Electron. The Big Electron...whoooa. Whoooa. Whoooa. It doesn't punish, it doesn't reward, it doesn't judge at all. It just is. And so are we. For a little while.

Lucy G (7)
Wednesday July 9, 2008, 1:57 am
To be perfectly honest, if we really can't do anything about it then why waste precious time worrying? If it happens, it happens and we should just enjoy the time we have left.

Elle J (276)
Wednesday July 9, 2008, 2:18 pm
Noted! I have a friend in Michigan who is totally prepared. He has a whole shelter with everything he would need. He is inovative, I will say that. However, I think I would just stay put.I don't want to live in a world destroyed by nuclear weapons. I hope that Doc would be home and the cats, bird and I would all go together.I don't fear death.It is something I don't worry about. I will probably go out working against the very thing that will destroy us. lol..sitting at my computer. Facing a couple of potentially fatal illnesses will change your perspective on how you deal with things.Hopefully, it won't come to that. But I am not counting on it. I think we will react in our own individual ways.Given the chance, I know I will go out praying. Thanks for the story, Cate. Very thought provoking. Also, I loved Carole and Jim's comments. LOL
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