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Too much environmental bombardment to hear

May 7, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
After having frozen from roughly Jan. 1 to Tuesday, give or take a warm day or two in the mix, and while sitting in the newsroom listening to a torrential rain pound the roof, it’s kind of hard for me and my nonscientific mind to oppose the National Climate Assessment.

But, after the rain stops, the sun comes out and the Pirates score a few in the first, opposition becomes a little easier.

Because, by the age of 51, I’ve been subjected to a lifetime of environmental messages, from growing up in “America’s Dirtiest City” circa 1970 to population explosion fears expressed from the 1960s right on up to today, from three or is it four or five energy crises, genetically modified organisms, drugs in the water, fluoride as mind control and a couple of really hot summers and really bad winters, I can’t get worked up about any scientific climate report going either way.

Yep. It’s hotter. It’s colder. It rains more. Hailstorms fall on Steubenville. It’s windy. It’s sunny. There’s a drought. There’s a torrential rainstorm. The hurricanes are bigger and badder except when the season is kind of mild like last year.

I’ve been, as most in my generation have been, bombarded with dire, fearsome predictions for a lifetime.

I should not have reached the half-century mark because we’ve done nothing, after all, except mandate tiny crappy cars in the 1980s (which we seem bent on doing again, only with over-boosted six-cylinder trucks as part of the bargain this time), and take the propellant out of cooking spray and spray deodorants (which many of us stop using after seventh grade in favor of sticks of all scents).

I should be living with you in the dark, with the killer antibiotic filled, oil-slicked, radioactive Ohio River coursing through my living room, too many neighbors sitting atop one another as we fight for the shred of dangerously modified wheat, without any energy for power or my environmentally destroying automobile.

The heavy industry is nearly all gone, except for all that gas drilling in surrounding counties. States can sue our coal-fired electric plants out of existence and the president and his EPA thug band have declared coal a baaad thiiiing.

We’re rubbing our pits with gels.

If I ever buy a Chevy Volt, it will be because it’s really cool technology that saves me money at the same time. If we're really lucky, it won't throw an axle or turn itself off on the freeway.

If I lower my thermostat when no one is at home it’s because natural gas is rotten expensive.

And still there’s no ozone in the upper atmosphere and too much down low and the Chinese go on polluting in ways that make Steubenville circa 1970 look like a clean air paradise.

I’m not saying I don’t worry about this stuff from time to time, but when one lives a half century being bombarded by reports of doo, while doom hasn’t arrived, it’s mighty hard not to just ignore the whole thing.

Which I believe is the problem. Too many people of my bombarded generation, simply tune out altogether for there to be much hope for universal recycling or a sudden, non-mandated switch to sensible-sized vehicles or houses that aren’t a 42,000 square-foot castle built for two.

Maybe it’s time for the psychologists to do the next environmental report, for the whackos and the tune-outs.


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