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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I have a serious physical problem, and that is that I feel cold ALL the time. No matter where I am, no matter what I'm wearing, and no matter what I'm eating or drinking, I'm cold, and I have no idea as to the cause of this malady. Can it be that my blood has thinned that much after having gotten old? Or is it this particular winter? All I know is that if this keeps up, I'm going to start dreading the approach of any other Decembers that I may see coming up.

I guess it doesn't help that at night I like to eat a bowl of ice cream, laced with a liquor bottle capful of either applejack brandy or vodka. And it also doesn't help that I spend a good deal of time walking around outside every day, often in pursuit of wood to feed the voracious little stove in my workshop, and lately hoeing aside -- not shoveling but hoeing away (quicker and easier on the heart than shoveling) the snow and ice from where we have to walk and cars have to go. But even when I finally get the stove there and the other big soapstone one in our house to going good, I can hang close to them and still I'm cold.

Until the big snowfall nearly two weeks ago, the results of which are still heavily present on top of our house and all over the ground, because the temp hates to rise much past freezing, I was at least warm when in bed. But now I sleep on top of an electric mattress pad set at "5," and under a sheet and two thick comforters, while wearing my regular underwear plus a thermal underwear top and some longjohns, plus a big, heavy lined shirt, plus a woolen watchcap, which invariably falls off as soon as I fall asleep, and I'm still cold.

One of the reasons given for the failure to reach any sort of definite agreement on what humans will do about climate change, in the big international confab in Copenhagen a few weeks ago, was the fact that the U.S. has not suffered any of the bad heat spells that have been experienced by other countries in recent years. But I don't feel that Copenhagen was a failure. Instead the mere fact that so many countries finally took climate change seriously and met to talk about it was a big victory in and of itself, regardless of the fact that it has become so much the fashion to blame every disappointed expectation on President Obama and on him alone, when in fact the only failure that has been his alone, without plenty of help, was the decision not to sign the landmine treaty, for which he should be excoriated, big time, because, as far as I know, he has not yet said anything about his reasons for that -- maybe because there can't be any that make any real sense. And many people are not aware of or either conveniently forget the seeming paradox that cold winters like this one may be a sign of the growing global warming in itself, because there can't be any doubt that the ice is being quickly melted off of Antarctica, Greenland, and the Arctic Ocean, not only making the Earth less reflective of the heat rays coming from the Sun and so retaining more and more heat trapped under the carbon dioxide layers that humans are steadily adding to the atmosphere, but also pouring fresh water into the ocean and disrupting the "conveyor belt," the underseas currents that keep so many climates in various parts of the world temperate instead of like the usual conditions in Greenland.

Whatever is happening -- and I feel sure that global warming is a fact, not a hoax -- I am still cold, and my only consolation is that I know a warm Spring, a hot Summer, and a temperate Fall are on the way. I know this because I have seen so many of all of them, every year, and it even won't be long now. I just have to sweat out the lingering, exquisite pain of being cold every day till then, and here it's just the end of December.

I am not unhappy. I am not sick. I feel fine nearly all the time. But all the time, I also still feel my bones shuddering with cold!


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