Go back home, fall. It’s still just July. What’s that you say? You’re not a change of the seasons, you’re climate change and there’s no stopping you now? Oh, in that case, I’m going back to Facebook.
I’ve never been a big fan of a/c. We have one unit in our living room window, despite the recent heatwave. We don’t run it all day. I turn it on a few minutes before my partner gets home. If I’m spending more time in the living room than where I usually am in my office (with a fan and windows open), I’ll turn it on for awhile. So there’s no real schedule of its use. We do experiment with how well the unit works in conjunction with the ceiling fan, and have mixed reviews. It was some time yesterday that I wondered if I had turned the thing or left it on too long, or whether having all the windows in the house open was making it suddenly feel cold. And if it was the latter, why that would be after weeks of having all the windows in the house open. It seemed odd that the cold air could be coming from outside but indeed it was. By the time I went to sleep last night, it felt downright like fall. Waking up this morning, the birds are quieter than they were yesterday. Fewer of them almost it seems. The sky is gray. The street does not having the usual bustly feel of summer. And something just seems wrong. I almost expect to see leaves falling to the ground (and not like the leaves on my hosta plants that wilted and singed yellow and brown at the edges from all the unbearable heat we’ve had lately).
Last night before going to bed, I checked online. I looked around Facebook (there’s a page about m neighborhood that’s become somewhat addictive, and I like to watch the number of comments ring up after a comment I or someone else has made about something that only neighbors can be annoyed about — overcharging at a particular grocery store, the removal of waste cans on major corners because the sanitation department says they’re causing too much mess — or just the history of a building or person who’s been a fixture on these streets). I didn’t do the full stroll and check in to LinkedIn and Twitter.
It seems anymore we don’t have to go looking for the news. If we’re engaging in the usual social media rounds that most of our ethernet neighbors are, then the news comes to us. I think there is the sometimes-false sense that we therefore know what’s going on. Actual, true-life media outlets I’m sure are suffering from this hubris we have. But in a way they seem to be chasing their tails too, sniffing out scoops online, and allowing the democratization of the news unfold without too much protestation. If enough people are interested in it online, it must be news. I’ve been seeing on morning television shows with increasing frequency (so now it’s just “regular” news) videos that have gone viral – a wild animal jumping into someone’s car because it was being chased by a cheetah or some other beast, Beyonce’s hair getting caught in a fan, a puppeteer who can make his puppets dance better than they do on Dancing With the Stars, you get the drift.
So what happens to the little articles that got lost in the swirl because maybe they’re a little boring, or because they’re not written simply enough for the regular reader to get their significance, or because it’s not a beast or Beyonce or a dancing puppet. What if it’s just the Arctic taking its final swan song? Before I went to bed, I happened upon a blog post or news article – dangerously, I can barely tell them apart these days – noting July 22, 2013 as the day to put down in the history books for when the North Pole became a lake. I noticed it was the only article I saw like this, and even looking back now I can’t find the same article/post. I wasn’t surprised. If a poll were taken, I’d bet more people on FB preferred puppies and kitties and stars getting their hair stuck to the uncomfortable and downright painful truth of climate change. I woke this morning thinking about it, wondering in my unscientific way if the air is carrying the last of the polar cap. I wondered, too, about how that article was just a blip amid more enticing videos of stars’ hair getting stuck in fans and wildebeasts jumping in and out of Jeeps.
But then I woke up this morning and in searching for the blip on the screen last night, I found countless articles, most marked “22 minutes ago,” or “2 hours ago.” Lots of them, too! Turns out the arctic melting is gonna cost somebodies some big money. Bring on the media. This is not longer just enviro-blogger worthy. Now it’s real news.