it's been a
and, mostly happy, couple of weeks, close to a month, since my last post.
alas, here I am...having returned from Big Pine, the Bristlecone Pine Forest, Yosemite, and breathing in a giant sequoia named Grizzly.
here's an interesting bit of knowledge and perspective -- you know, given the latest climate on climate change at the hand of mankind....
"California's western Sierra Nevada had more frequent fires between 800 and 1300 than at any time in the past 3,000 years, according to a 2009 study based upon tree-ring research. Scientists reconstructed the history of fire during this droughty period by dating the years in which fire scars were found in ancient giant sequoia trees in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park. The result: These 500 years, known as the Medieval Warm Period, had the most frequent fires in the 3,000 years studied. During this period extensive fires burned through parts of the Giant Forest at intervals of about 3 to 10 years. Any individual tree was probably in a fire about every 10 to 15 years."
you mean all that happened, fires burning "more frequently" and at intervals of "3 to 10 years" coming at the same time of what has been named the "Medieval Warm Period"....a droughty period, with a long list of fire scars to prove it? Fires happening MORE frequently than at any other time in the past 3000 years?
How thought provoking.
and not to leave the Bristlecone Pine out of the conversation:
"This bristlecone pine chronology, developed here in the White Mountains by University of Arizona researchers and Dr. Henry Michael of the University of Pennsylvania is the longest in the world and provides an unequaled look into past climatic and environmental conditions.
For many years now, scientists, archeologists, and historians have relied on a dating system known as radiocarbon dating. It was discovered back in the 1960s that this process was flawed and needed to be calibrated. The wood from bristlecone pines helped correct this process by providing samples that could be precisely dated. Scientists dated these samples by counting their growth rings; they then measured the amount of carbon-14 (C-14) in those same samples. They discovered that the radiocarbon dating process was providing dates that were "too young" and established a calibration factor to correct the dating process.
Faulty C-14 data obtained before the bristlecone pine calibration was then re-examined and corrected. Archeologists found that some artifacts discovered in Europe were actually 1000 years or older than previously thought. This revision of archeological site dates led historians to a reinterpretation of cultural diffusion throughout the Mediterranean and European areas. Because the bristlecone pines of this grove provided the wood to recalibrate the radiocarbon dating method, they have become known as the trees that rewrote history."
And yet, more thought provoking things.
And before I go on, just as a matter of record, my thanks to the National Park Service and to the United States Department of Agriculture/Forest Service....for the quick links to this history and information. If you are keeping track, the U.S. Department of Agriculture manages the US Forest Service which manages the National Park Service...can't help but notice that there are almost as many layers of management as there are rings in the trees in them parts; what else is new, right?
But check that out -- that bit about the Bristlecone getting the credit for re-calibrating the dating methods and being recognized as THE tree that "rewrote history." I just love that; we humans don't know everything, even when we think we do.
Which brings me to a crazy, provocative new book I just started reading: Sapiens -- A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.
Here's something interesting, from only the second chapter --
"Ever since the Cognitive Revolution, Sapiens have thus been living in a dual reality. On the one hand, the objective reality of rivers, trees and lions; and on the other hand, the imagined reality of gods, nations and corporations. As time went by, the imagined reality became ever more powerful, so that today the very survival of rivers, trees and lions depends on the grace of imagined entities such as the United States and Google."try and tell that to the Bristlecone Pine, Yuval.
Wow, Yuval. Thought provoking and hilarious. Can hardly wait til chapters nineteen and twenty.
We get so full of ourselves sometimes (myself included).
No wonder Bill Gates is quoted on the front, while Barack Obama is quoted on the back.
Wait, don't walk, isn't that racist?
And never you mind that in the first chapter, Yuval says this: "Like it or not, we are members of a large and particularly noisy family called the great apes...Just six million years ago, a single female ape had two daughters. One became the ancestor of all chimpanzees, the other is our own grandmother." Moving forward with some modicum of caution, it might make sense to you that I had to take a break before venturing into the third chapter, when Yuval begins to examine the fictitious nature of Adam and Eve. oh joy to the world that will be...
The thing is, in this very moment, this girl is more captivated by the cover of the book -- all of a sudden, all I can do is gaze upon a single smudge of a thumb print, dotting the letter i of Sapiens...and given how this day all began, all I see is tree rings.
Yuval and the rings are making me dizzy. so so dizzy in thought.
Yuval -- page 28 -- "Yet none of these things exist outside the stories that people invent and tell one another. There are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings."
Wow. How so very absolute of him, there are no gods in the universe, the little man said.
As if, Yuval.
How in tarnation do YOU really know that?
Like for real; how can this guy speak as if God is absolutely, without a doubt, totally fiction, simply myth created by man to control man. Sure, on one level I understand where he is coming from -- he's this somewhat cynical, learned man questioning culture, questioning the little sheep following the Shepherd, questioning the very foundation of everything we believe, lambasting our ignorance and in proper turn, the unprecedented destruction upon the earth, of both resources and our fellow man. We get it.
and on another level, something tells me that all of this is just part of the plan, and prophesied thousands of years ago, too.
Thing is, I question anyone who speaks in terms of proclaiming there is NO GOD unless imagined in our own small minds.
Oh, and yes, I will tell you what Obama said, quoting the quote from the back cover verbatim:
"Interesting and provocative...It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we've been on this earth, how short things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted."
very nice Barack. I love the use of the dot dot dot; it gives us the sense that quite possibly more was said, and yet, I believe there wasn't. It's an endearing flashback to that long pause, and that occasional stutter, as you reached out into the air to pluck each and every word off the tree like an apple. It's stylistic, smart -- allowing the reader to get a sense of just how deeply you think about things, because you do; because you care so much; because we've been brainwashed to believe you are really really super intelligent, the smartest president we've ever had.
Just one more way this book reminds me just how much this world is run by narcissistic, haughty, intellectuals who just want to control the entire universe already; because they, truly, know what's best for all of us lame humanoids.
but my question is -- what is Barack talking about? Who takes our science and agriculture for granted these days? when all we really do is analyze how we Sapiens can be better caretakers of this world?
Isn't it better, Yuval, that we Sapiens are not still running around being hunters and gatherers, or even all farmers and herders? Looking at it logically, especially from a logistical standpoint, there just isn't enough real estate on God's great earth for all of us to farm and herd and hunt and gather our days away.
And what is with the inability to embrace human advancement, in areas of science and industry? Since when did the evolution of humankind become such a dirty topic? I sure as heck don't want to be living back in the dark ages, or even two hundred years ago! I might go as far back as the early 1900's, just to take part in the suffragette movement -- and of course wear those clothes -- there is that. But really, I kinda like where I am, I am.
I guess in some ways, this girl is looking forward to reading more about the history of Sapiens through the looking glass of a guy with a PhD from the University of Oxford -- even if it kills me. Which it won't; just being a wee bit dramatic. (Yuval started it.)
Ahhh looking back, I talked to a few trees in my journey of the last few weeks; and it was good.
TO smell them
TO touch them
To gaze all the way up and down their magnificent stature, and to hear the rustling of the leaves and needles, all under the backdrop of a glorious, big blue sky...God Is. Indeed God Is.
Everything begins in thought.
We create and we destroy with first a thought to create or to destroy. (Which also supports the argument that it's not about more gun control; SAPIENS, very bad sapiens, are to blame, but I digress.)
Humankind is made in God's image because God made it so.
Even the Universe was created with a thought, a thought to create a universe.
And all the while, the Big Bang Theory is NOT settled science. Why? Because NOBODY on this planet knows everything.
And the funny thing is, no PhD is needed to question the day's provocateur, Yuval.
And isn't that a good thing.
and on that note, this is the end.
Not THE end, but just the end.
thank you for listening...
and with a nod to the great outdoors, to the high Sierra, to the air, the stars, the energy, the quiet, a road trip come and gone, this girl is happy to be back in the saddle again.
Make it a Good Day, G