October 4th, 2015 by Joni Grady
Welcome to another step in my attempt to make sense out of an increasingly irrational world. When I picked the title, Reality Check, I had a rather different talk envisioned, one dealing only with the painful bifurcation of my life and the lives of everyone involved to any extent with that most dreadful task, saving the only livable planet we seem to have. In one part of my life, the dreaming world, we try to remember to vacuum the rugs and take out the trash, put money into Sophie’s college savings and reserve a beach house for Christmas. In this world, which seems so familiar, so pleasant, a bad problem is not finding the type of tea I like at Martin’s or getting stuck at too many red lights. A serious issue means the AC has gone out and the mattress needs replacing. And a tragedy would of course be sickness or death amongst family or friends. In this world, mainstream media news means killings, wars, politicians and celebrities. Sometimes on the front page or at the top of the hour but usually hidden on the inside or never heard or shown at all are floods, heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and storms. These, thank goodness, are simply “acts of God” that come and go randomly around the world but, happily, rarely in the Peaceful Valley. (Or at least that’s what I thought until Tuesday when the dreaming world intersected the waking world and an unusual (new normal?) storm dropped 4 inches of rain and a lot of it ended up in my basement.) Both worlds were interrupted by an actual Reality check!!
Normally, in the other, equally real, weirding-climate, waking world that I also live in 24/7, the minor day-to-day issues revolve around making sure there are enough materials for tabling at the Farmers Market, getting out the word for various events and keeping the CAAV facebook page up-to-date. (CAAV, for those new to the area, is the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley.) The more complicated ones involve designing a display to draw people in at the International Festival when they really just want to eat and have fun, not be bothered by inconvenient truth, and planning next month’s educational forum (which is, in case you’re interested, the inside story on fighting western forest fires, from training to living in camp to the actual hard and very dirty work of controlling a wildfire, brought to us by Sophie’s dad Alan Williams.) And the news I read is all climate, all the time: some good, some bad, some optimistic, some terrifying.