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Okay, Marge, you win … rising seas to displace millions of people … Pope Francis: care for planet

Marge 1, Dave 0

My weekend with Marge has gone something like this: ‘Feed me,’ ‘Pay attention to me,’ ‘I’m ready to go outside – now,’ ‘Let’s see how strong my leash is.’


Fresh off her victory, Marge sits with Saturday morning’s haul. I was lucky to have slowed her enough to collect anything.

On the latter point, it is very strong.

The young Labradoodle literally pulled-tugged-yanked me around our entire 2.5 mile path Saturday morning. I’m lucky to have picked up any litter at all, such was her tenacity to move!-move!-move! Perhaps the leash company tracks the longest recorded stretch of this model of dog restraint. Surely Marge and her hapless handler smashed the previous mark as I struggled (mostly in vain) to slow her relentless pace as she imposed her will to plow ahead. If properly motivated by the sight of a ground squirrel or bunny, Marge could singlehandedly pull a car out of a ditch.

She may have won today’s tug-of-war/test of wills, but tomorrow is another day.

Nat’l Geo: Rising seas to displace millions

I’ve subscribed to National Geographic for nearly 10 years, and it’s quite the amazing little journal of our world.

Some of this digest-sized magazine’s matter-of-fact reportage is at once fascinating – and disturbing.

The September edition offers up these nuggets:

  • Scientists estimate by 2050, rising seas caused by global warming will displace 18 million people in low-lying areas of Bangladesh alone.
  • Another offshoot of perhaps man-influenced weather: An area of record warm waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean (known as ‘the blob’) have “become so astonishingly hot that the marine world experienced unprecedented upheaval.” That includes animals seen in far north locations where they’d never been seen before; a toxic bloom of marine life-killing algae; and zones where the “food web crashed.”
  • Fashion designers are turning again – a blind eye it seems – to mink and other furs as fashion statements. “Almost two-thirds of the women’s fall 2016 collections in major fashion week shows included fur clothing,” writes NG. Global harvesting of mink topped 84 million animals last year, nearly double the amount in 2000 when haute couture featuring pelts of animals was so, so out. The gross practice should be again. Remember when animal rights advocates used spray paint to adorn outer wear worn by fashionistas with what essentially amounted to a Scarlet Letter?

Pope Francis: Show the planet some love

Pope Francis has added care for the environment as the eighth work of mercy for Catholics.

The Washington Post reports the pontiff has “deepened his vision … of a green church in which caring for the planet is as important a Catholic commitment as caring for the sick and hungry.”

“When we mistreat nature, we also mistreat human beings,” the Pope wrote, “… The world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact.”

The Pope’s first major treatise, issued in 2015, also happened to be on the environment.

And this praise comes from a Presbyterian, no less.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

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