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Little Green

Born with the moon in Cancer

Choose her a name she will answer to,

Call her Green

And the winters cannot fade her

Call her Green

For the children who’ve made a little green,

Be a Gypsy Dancer.

He went to California

Hearing that everything is warmer there.

So you write him a letter

And say her eyes are blue

He sends you a poem

And she’s lost to you

Little Green, he’s a known conformer.

Just a little Green,

Like the color when the spring is born,

There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow

Just a little Green

Like the nights when the northern lights perform

There’ll be icicles and birthday colds

And sometimes

There’ll be sorrow

Child with a child pretending

Weary of lies you are sending home

So you sign all the papers in the family name

You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed

Maybe just a little Green

Have a happy ending

Just a little Green,

Like the color when the spring is born.

There will be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow

Just a little Green,

Like the nights when the northern lights perform.

There’ll be icicles and birthdays colds

And sometimes

There’ll be sorrow.

-Joni Mitchell

Stop Fighting Already

There is a great deal of room to argue against human influence on global cycles precisely for the fact that what evidence we have is deductive evidence. No truly inductive experiments - excepting the uncontrolled experiment called the carbon economy - are allowable or feasible. Intellectual honesty always admits when it stacks the evidence in favor of a preferred conclusion, and always allows for skepticism of accepted conclusions.

"In fact the United States was, 15 million years ago, covered with a receding glacier, which thanks to global warming, left us a lovely comfortable place to live."

The Pacific Northwest was under several thousand feet of ice just a recent 20000-16000 years ago, and you should see how high the real estate prices are around Seattle! So it's true, everything changes and sometimes it’s really a spectacle to behold. But ask again and again - even as the answers change with new information - the question of "what changes are we facing?" seems a really important and valid practice given what we, a scientifically informed population, witness these days.

As its stands, we are examining climatic behaviors that act over exceptionally long time spans. We extrapolate human climatic influence from on a variety of indicators - and the models based on them - to simulate global responses to increased CO2 concentrations, cloud formation, carbon sequestration, sea temperatures, glaciation, etc.

So on one hand, we can only listen to what our observations say about how the earth will respond to our activities, and wait and see if they influence things in the way we predict.

On the other hand, there is overwhelming evidence that the earth is warming, with or without human influences. It's an important point that really should not be avoided or scuttled simply because we can't determine with pinpoint accuracy the degree to which human are responsible for it. I can't tell you exactly how much global CO2 emissions has changed the face of Washington State in fifty years, but to conduct resource management today based on the patterns from the previous eight decades represents a risk to our communities borne from limited insight into the nature of our miraculous and complex world.

Adaptation and climate change mitigation action hardly presuppose humans to be the sole manufacturer of climate instability.

Because at the end of the day, the climate is only temporarily stable (temporary is a rather arguable duration, I know). As every physical scientist will point out, there have been a variety of stable climatic states over the geologic history of the earth. But these periods of stability or periods of flux don't change because the earth changes its mood. The web of life adapts to changing conditions, and at the same time, contributes to those same changes. There are forces driving flux, and there are forces driving toward stability, each working in tandem and in unimaginable complexity. There are ranges of homeostasis, built from a complex and poorly understood set of conditions across all scales of distance, of concentrations, of time. Humbling, really, when you get into it beyond the factionalism and the trite retaliationalism and beyond the panic and alarmism.

I think it as arrogant to declare, based on our understanding of positive and negative feedbacks - both physical and biological - that our influence in these feedbacks are negligible and insignificant, as it is to declare that we understand exactly how we influence those same processes.

If the well dries up, if floods come, if the heat stroke strikes, and if other valuable resources change their behaviors as the many mouths clamor for sustenance, it won't matter who's right. It's only going to matter what our response is. And the best response will be borne of humble means, not self-indulgent righteousness. It's going to matter whether we can maintain our sense of collaboration and common interest, in the face of mounting global adaptation.

Neko Case Cover

In California I dream of snow
And all the places we used to go
With the night falling down
with the night falling down
now I'm living in Korea Town
waking to the sound of Karbala

I remember your face when I showed you the ticket
Said you were happy for me your heart wasnt in it
just a phone call away
now theres nothing to say
as the days roll by
disconnected

in the land where the sun's always shining
im crying alone
palm trees are laughing at me
another fool playing songs that don't matter
to people who chatter
endlessly

another suicide on the 405
the black dahlia she smiles and smiles
its the same old town that bled her dry
one more stallin' one more time
bound to make it do or die

take a walk to bonnie bray
try to wash these dreams away
they tell me LA is
beautiful
when it rains

A Hundred Years of Cohesion

Timothy F. Ball.

Is this name familiar? Probably not, but the sensation behind the name probably is. Here's a clue, according to Professor Ball,

"Believe it or not, Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). This in fact is the greatest deception in the history of science. We are wasting time, energy and trillions of dollars while creating unnecessary fear and consternation over an issue with no scientific justification."

or, perhaps

"The entire Kyoto issue is based on the theory of carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas...There are 2 major problems. First, [it] is not the most important greenhouse gas. Second, evidence now shows that temperatures rise before carbon dioxide increases - not the other way round."

Timothy Ball is the figurehead for one of the uglier sides of science. His name is synonymous with a growing trend of labeling scientific skepticism as denial. Climate Change Denial, as a subject in Wikipedia, is currently "protected from editing until disputes have been resolved."

Perhaps, like me, you are worried about climate change. Perhaps you read troubling news articles and are sympathetic to the message Al Gore promotes in his movie. Perhaps you think about driving a more fuel-efficient car or reducing your reliance on the automobile altogether. Perhaps you don't see the fuss, or are simply skeptical of anyone trying to make a hard sell.

There is a wide spectrum of views, both dissenting and ruling. While there are aspects of climate change science to debate, there are others that appear to be a product of broad and unyielding scientific consensus. Models are as yet imperfect. Agreed, in fact it's implicit to the scientific process that models are always the best possible explanation to date. Models indicate a warming climate trend. Agreed. Models used to predict outcome of warming trend indicate many changes, within an acceptable range of uncertainty. Agreed. Man-made CO2 is one of several contributors, if not the single most important contributor, to date of projected climate change. Almost certainly in complete agreement. Yes, there is dissent. But John Stuart Mill indicated that dissent against a well-founded argument is a necessity of intellectual liberty. And if the ideas and theories can stand against dissent by virtue of evidence and reasoning, then they have nothing to fear from dissent at all.



Lake Mead, behind Hoover Dam.

Do you have a reaction to this photo? Let me share a little about what you're looking at. Lake Mead was constructed as hydroelectric project in a period of time when the region was experiencing greater-than usual rainfall. Unfortunately, being so very new to the area, the settler/engineers mistook it for a background measure of rainfall and buil accordingly. Even more importantly, they developed water use practices based on erroneous rainfall = rate of reservoir replenishment estimates. What you see, then is very nearly half of the reservoir's capacity gone. You're looking at an emptied-out tub basin, with no hope of replenishment. You're looking at the mistake of resource planners to reckon with the land on its own terms, the evaporation of a vision for the future with abundant and sustained irrigation, plumbing, and electricity. And that reservoir is dwindling faster than ever down there in the arid south.

Does this in fact indicate a problem? Well, yes. It does. It indicates that whatever the cause, there is a global warming trend and because of that trend, be it an apocalyptic event, a thirty-generation event, or a two-generation event, it requires a meaningful response. And that means us all.

Will changing lightbulbs help reverse the trend of global climate change? Yes, and no. Yes, it is likely that you will affect per-capita household electricity in the US by reducing electricity consumption. But more people move into the states, are born here, so absolute energy consumption may or may not be affected. Will changing a lightbulb reduce fossil fuel emissions? Only so long as total electricity demand manages to decline over time, which requires not just your lightbulbs to change, but your neighbor's lightbulbs, your school's lightbulbs, your government's lightbulbs, and perhaps more importantly, your trans-national corporation's lightbulbs to change.

So the answer is no. It is not positively true that changing your lightbulbs will decrease CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. You will lighten insignificantly the global electrical demand and that, by itself, is meaningless. Do not be fooled into thinking we can make global warming go away. We can't. And that's the point, after all. Changing a lightbulb can only attempt to mitigate the impact that higher atmospheric greenhouse gas emissions place on global warming, be they negligible (almost certainly not) or the single driving factor behind global climate change (almost certainly not).

The inescapable fact is that global warming will change important resource infrastructures, all the way from energy generation diversity, to annual stream flows. Water, the very chemical underpinning of all biology on earth, will be changing its habits. Everything from cloud formation to precipitation patterns, from pole to pole; it's all going to change folks. These changes mean that we have to adapt. Water seeps into our lives through every aspect: municipal reservoirs, terrestrial ecology, game management, agricultural management, industrial management, land management, water management and more. All these management practices and policies are based on soon-to-be historical water cycles. If we are to adapt to the impending global changes with a mind to social welfare - and we ought to - it will require a coordinated approach. I cannot emphasize this enough, and you will hear me pound this point into the table again and again and again.

This brings to mind the second most reviled name in Environmentalism.

Bjorn Lomborg

He's a vegetarian, he's pretty, he's openly gay, and he's Danish. His first publication was called the Skeptical Environmentalist, and focussed on a broad array of economic consequences of climate change models. Being a statistician, he embedded an incomprehensible amount of information and significance into a staggering array of graphs and charts, all in one volume. He took a number of skeptical stances where climate science is concerned in that publication, trying to point out that there's reason to hope and perhaps the trends ought to be viewed from many angles, not just the obvious ones, that even scientists are given to hyperbole. He also questioned legitimate evidence and presented falsifiable conclusions as a result. In fact, he was so ire-provoking that The Skeptical Environmentalist was reviewed under claims of scientific dishonesty and as a result was cited for:
1. Fabrication of data;
2. Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
3. Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
4. Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
5. Plagiarism;
6. Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results.

Celebrity ensued. Maybe not Leonardo DiCaprio size celebrity, but still.

This is what happens when you want to make a point really, really badly. You overlook things, your evidence gets stacked, and you risk misinforming the public.

The New York Times recently published this stunning article, and I consider it a must-read, plaguing me with unanswerable questions: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/magazine/21water-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Staring into the face of sobering disaster, what happens when we do nothing?

What will it take to invest in significant climate change leadership and adaptation measures?

Is it all happening too fast for a rational and deliberate social response?

Read the aforementioned article first, but then here's a Machiavellian question for you: What happens if the public, in order to make a rational decision based on voluntary measures, requires invalid information to make those choices? Do you provide that info knowing the outcome will be better for it? Or do you stand by Lady Justice and just be honest? I suppose the cynical truth is that every risk management portfolio ought to consider misinformation campaigns as a reasonable solution to population-sized problems. Perhaps this is a-moral. I wonder what you will think?

Long Road to Fame

Not too long ago, the use of fossil fuels was hailed as a modern miracle, enabling the kind of production capacity that, for all intents and purposes, was truly miraculous. This volume production moved into the economic stream many essential raw materials like grains, food stocks, fertilizers, metals, and minerals. Massive human investment in technological advances like plastics, rubbers, synthetic fibers, and electronics has so rapidly changed the face of modern living that pre-petroleum economies and lifestyles seem completely inconceivable. Directly in front of me now, I see only paper pages as the one thing able to be fabricated without petroleum, and that's it in my whole visual range (desk at work).

Okay, petroleum has a pretty impressive track record. Unfortunately, it also has some costs, the most visible of which is now climate change. Most news agencies now write frequently and vocally about climate change. Toxic Pollution even starred as the antagonist in The Simpsons movie with young Lisa spoofing Al Gore. Rapid industrialization has harmed the biotic environment through such long-ago problems like acid rain and ozone. Ozone hole? That's, like, SO eighties! Like him or not, Al Gore made mainstream dialogue over climate change viable, even popular. The main difference in problems like toxic sludge, chemically choked rivers and climate change is the scale. One river in one state is not quite the same story as the entire globe.

And because of the difference, the conversation has been conducted differently. At first it was only the Doom-and-Gloomers who were talking about climate change, making it as socially viable a conversation topic as thermonuclear breakdown. Really, who wants to get all hysterical about mutually assured annihilation? Again? Didn't we deal with that after we killed Castro? ...wait, he's not dead?

So climate change was hushed up, denied, and culpability for its dawning presence in our life quietly passed onto the next in line. The problem with this is pretty obvious, and has led to what is known as climate commitment, the 100% guaranteed shift in atmospheric concentrations of CO2 that we have committed to all the not-so-vague consequences of that shift. For a good time, read The IPCC 4th working group report on what the scientific community has to say about that. IPCC is the UN International Panel on Climate Change who just won the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. I'm a big fan of the IPCC. Also, if you're interested in global affairs, check out their Global Environmental Outlook series for a more social-justice oriented document. They are both available online.

Americans used to be leaders. In the sixties, we were committed to changing business as usual and adopted a series of systems to help make sure America stayed pretty. And healthy. And safe to swim in. It was Nixon's time in the White House and we the people got the Clean Air Act, The Environmental Protection Agency, the Clean Water Act, and a host of other ancillary projects. It was pretty good stuff, so we all went back to pioneering ungodly per-capita energy consumption. And things got a bit better. But we couldn't stop, didn't even think to question, our entrenched fixation with technological advances, over-indulgent consumption, and our collective commitment to the industrial economy. Look at how many blessed cars that industrial economy gave us. Why, I was raised up to believe that a car was my birthright, to be redeemed on my 16th birthday and won't you believe it, they all delivered. Every last part of the great American enterprise chipped in and there she was: a shiny white little Japanese Acura.

America led in those golden days, but now she's not so much up to the task. Well, to be honest, executing such grand institutions as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and staffing the EPA on a budget of grilled cheese and popcorn won't go far. For any agency, really. Just this last April, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_v._Environmental_Protection_Agency) our State of Massachusetts along with others sued the EPA, demanding they list CO2, the banner climate chemical, as a criteria pollutant. In so doing, the plaintiffs officially told the EPA, the country's only federal pollution regulatory agency, to do their job better and with a focus on modern problems. The Supreme Court agreed. The EPA attempted to avoid the issue - not by arguing against the science - but by saying they were too emaciated from budget cuts and would need their grilled cheese sandwiches back before they could muster the energy to tackle another criteria pollutant. Monitoring and enforcing pollution emissions is no joke of a job, and to be fair, EPA is woefully underfunded. They offered no valid reason why their institution had not adopted, or begun enforcing, pollution regulation for carbon dioxide, a realistic response given that America has no longer has environmental leadership at all, anywhere.

Except where the states come in.

While the decision regarding the EPA was a kind of victory, the fact is that federal adoption of carbon emission regulation is one administration away, at the very least. And for those of you counting down to doomsday, another year of committed inaction seems to be upping the ante deliciously. In the meantime, states are welcome and encouraged (so as to take pressure off the feds) to exceed regulatory standards in whatever area they wish. They just can't de-criminalize pot. Wait... that's a different story altogether. So we see climate change legislation popping up in many states, and a kind of vigilantism of carbon-neutrality. High fuel efficiency standards in California, emissions-capping in cities and states, fledgling emissions trading schemes as promoted in the Kyoto Protocol. Yet according to our administration's lame arguments, carbon-neutral initiatives pose a threat to the carbon economy. Yes, well. Perhaps there's something more robust and diversified to the America's economy than the carbon economy. And so we see municipalities taking the lead. Which isn't enough. Don't mistake me. We need federal cooperation, coordination, commitment and leadership. But there is a weather-vein out there. And if carbon neutral ideology shows up in Kansas, then there really is something blowin' in the wind.

Roderick L. Bremby, the secretary of The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said in a statement, “I believe it would be irresponsible to ignore emerging information about the contribution of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to climate change and the potential harm to our environment and health if we do nothing.”

Mis-use of the science to block an economically viable, perhaps even essential piece of carbon infrastructure? Vigilante carbon-neutral political activism? One would need to look at the details to find out if it was a wise decision, but it is a representation of things to come. It is a herald, among other news, that marks the growing consensus that we are, if not doomed altogether, then at least facing legitimate worries where our climate is concerned. Nearby, in Montana (sorry, no map), we have another example of regional leadership.

'“The more I learn about global warming and watch the drought affect ranchers and farmers, I see that it’s wind energy, not coal plants, that can help with rural economic development. Besides, do we want to roll the dice with the one planet we’ve got?” Mr. Liebert, despite his sentiments, fits nobody’s stereotype of an environmentalist. He is a Republican, a cattle rancher and a retired Army lieutenant colonel who travels to South Korea to train soldiers to fight in Iraq. He is also an example of a rising phenomenon in the West. An increasingly vocal, potent and widespread anti-coal movement is developing here. Environmental groups that have long opposed new power plants are being joined by ranchers, farmers, retired homeowners, ski resort operators and even religious groups. Activists say the increasing diversity of these coalitions is making them more effective.' -NYT

The real problem is that without coordination, all these little pet projects could lead to a real and terrible energy shortage very quickly. Make no mistake about it, the energy market is volatile and hungry. It is very very hungry, and it really does need to be fed, otherwise we will being to see more rolling blackouts, brownouts and the like. So let us do things decisively, but with deliberation and collaboration. If you yank out the underpinnings of one part of the energy infrastructure, you imperil far more than just the carbon economy. You imperil the food economy, the wage economy, the tech economy, the energy economy. Dig it?

All we need to realize is that it's time for leadership. Lets promote a good, old fashioned, lets-get-er-done mentality where we ensure a road to energy security that will last us another two or three generations as we come to grips with the Malthusian dilemma that presents itself these days. Our country is, one way or another, going to be inundated with foreign interests. Our domestic policy, our domestic resources, our domestic landscape; the customary stranglehold on American affairs is slipping out of our hands, heavy with pressure from so many new people. As was the fate of the poor natives from whom we righteously and barbarically stole this land, so is our fate, eventually. Doom and gloom? Well in a sense it's all there is to look forward to after a golden age. Things change, the climate will. Just you watch.

There is, oddly, one last inadvertent miracle to come from all of this. Centuries after giving up on it as mere fable, we have at last crafted it for ourselves: The Northern Passage


Jodie's Pics

Jodie posted these pics already but most of you won't have seen them. More Italy photos, I know.



Lazy Dog
Lazy Dog
Lotus Bank
Lotus Bank
Happy Couple
Happy Couple
Biking with the locals
Biking with the locals
Still life with boats
Still life with boats
Silhouette piazza
Silhouette piazza
Converted Monastery
Converted Monastery
Ferarra Doorway
Ferarra Doorway

Bienalle

Every so often Venice hosts and international art festival named the Bienalle. Having concluded travels with my family in the Dolomites, and with Jodie in various cities, I had three nights to conduct affairs solo. Luckily, I braved the interminable crowds of Venice to see these exhibits because they were at the very least, very interesting. I get the sense that incomprehensible abstraction is popular in art, as are self-conscious examinations of various cultural zeitgeists. The war in Iraq even made a satirical appearance. Bizzare, complex, superficial, beautiful, revelatory and sublime, this year's Biennalle - supposedly themed around "Time" - hosted a wide variety of art exhibits that I am thankful to have witnessed.


Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
That's a spilling cascade of kindling
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
This exhibit was absolutely astonishing.
Italy
Italy
These are portraits of some of the people who responded to the previous request for input.
Italy
Italy
This is the same letter from the previous exhibit, reprinted in UPC code
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Silly American art
Italy
Italy
What are these things?!?! Little plastic capsules of black something wrapped in plastic wrap? What IS this?
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
It is fair to call it graffiti?
Italy
Italy
Your intrepid reporter in the glamor shot
Italy
Italy
It's all 'baggage,' get it? Didn't know that was an internationally recognized term yet.
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy
Italy

Some sightseeing

Okay, it's true. I didn't snap as many photos as was merited. I was just having such a good time that I didn't bother. Not to mention a camera disn't accessorize well with my pimp'n outfit. You doubt me? I was way hot! Sometimes, confused Italians sought my advice with what I can only assume were questions about which train was headed which direction. Needless to say I couldn't understand the poor babbling savages.


Italy
Italy
The farm stay in Mantova was exquisite
Italy
Italy
Farmstead
Italy
Italy
Still Life with Farmstead
Italy
Italy
The Lady and the goofy traveler
Italy
Italy
Train depot in Trieste
Italy
Italy
Yay old clunky bikes! Such a civil people...
Italy
Italy
Very interesting graffiti in Italy, kind of a Warhol pop-art thing
Italy
Italy
Old doorway
Italy
Italy
Largest cathedral in Italy, excepting the Vatican
Italy
Italy
Ferrara, or was this Padova?
Italy
Italy
Venice, for sure
Italy
Italy
Venice, park walkway

Dolomites

Sorry folks, there's not enough line spacing between pictures, but I'm not savvy enough to code in the better spacing. At any rate, here's a batch of photos from my recent trip to Italy. There will be a couple other batches, as I was busy touring towns with Jodie after this, and then visiting the Biennalle International Art festival in Venice where I saw some fascinating exhibits.

Thanks to my mom, Dick, and David for showing me such a great time. The food was incredible, the views astonishing, and the sense of legacy - of history lived and crafted - was first rate. We met in celebration of my mother's 60th birthday (officially in November) and were all treated to memories to last a lifetime.





Dolomites
Dolomites
On the Gondola up to the highlands
Dolomites
Dolomites
The towering Dolomites
Dolomites
Dolomites
Idyllic herding village
Dolomites
Dolomites
View from my room at the hotel
Dolomites
Dolomites
A magpie-like bird drifting along beside us
Dolomites
Dolomites
Omen of worse weather to come, that's my brother Dave
Dolomites
Dolomites
Great views
Dolomites
Dolomites
Highland shelter

Old Man of the Sea

When some time a true sea-serpent, complete and undecayed, is found or caught, a shout of triumph will go through the world. "There, you see," men will say, "I knew they were there all the time. I just had a feeling they were there." Men really need sea-monsters in their personal oceans. And the Old Man of the Sea is one of these. In Monterey you can find many people who have seen him. Tiny Colette has seen him up close and can sketch a crabbed sketch of him. he is ver large. He stands up in the water, three or four feet emerged above the waves, and watches an approaching boat until it comes too close, and then he sinks slowly out of sight. He looks somewhat like a tremendous diver, with large eyes and fur shaggily hanging from him. So far, he has not been photographed. When he is, probably a scientist will identify him and another beautiful story will be shattered. For this reason we rather hope he is never photographed, for if the Old Man of the Sea should turn out to be some great malformed sea lion, a lot of people would feel a sharp personal loss - a Santa Claus loss. And the Ocean would be none the better for it. For the ocean, deep and black in the depths, is like the low dark levels of our minds in which the dream symbols incubate and sometimes rise up to sight like the Old Man of the Sea. And even if the symbol vision be horrible, it is there and it is ours. An ocean without its unnamed monsters would be like a completely dreamless sleep. Sparky and Tiny do not question the Old Man of the Sea, for they have looked at him. Nor do we question him because we know he is there. We would accept the testimony of these boys sufficiently to send a man to his death for murder, and we know they saw this monster and that they described him as they saw him.
We have thought often of this mass of sea-memory, or sea-thought, which lives deep in the mind. If one ask for a description of the unconscious, even the answer-symbol will be in terms of a dark water into which the light descends only a short distance. And we have thought how the human fetus has, at one stage in its development, vestigial gill-slits. If the gills are a part of the developing human, it is not unreasonable to suppose a parallel or concurrent mind or psyche development. If there be a life-memory strong enough to leave its symbol in vestigial gills, the preponderately aquatic symbols in the individual unconscious might well be indications of a group psyche-memory which is the foundation of the whole unconscious. And what things must be there, what monsters, what enemies, what fear of dark and pressure and prey! There are numbers of examples wherein even invertebrates seem to remember and react to stimuli no longer violent enough to cause the reaction. Perhaps, next to the sea, the strongest memory in us is that of the moon. But moon and sea and tide are one. Even now, the tide establishes a measurable although minute, weight differential. For example, the steamship Majestic loses about fifteen pounds of its weight under a full moon. According to a theory of George Darwin (son of Charles Darwin), in pre-Cambrian times, more than a billion years ago, the tides were tremendous; and the weight differential would have been correspondingly large. The moon-pull must have been the most important single environmental factor of littoral animals. Displacement and body weight then must certainly have decreased and increased tremendously with the rotation and phases of the moon, particularly if the orbit was at that time eliptic. The sun's reinforcement was probably slighter, relatively.
Consider, then the effect of a decrease in pressure on gonads turgid with eggs or sperm, already bursting and awaiting the slight extra pull to discharge. Now if we admit for the moment the potency of this tidal effect, we have only to add the concept of inherited psycic patterns we call "instinct" to get an inkling of the force of the lunar rhythm so deeply rooted in marine animals and even in higher animals and man.
When the fishermen find the Old Man rising in the pathways of their boats, they may be experiencing a reality of past and present. This may not be a hallucination; in fact, it is little likely that it is. The interrelations are too delicate and too complicated. Tidal effects are mysterious and dark in the soul, and it may well be noted that even today the effects of the tides is more valid and strong and widespread that is generally supposed.
It would seem far-fetched to attribute the strong lunar effects actually observable in breeding animals to the present fairly weak tidal forces only, or to coincidence. There is tied up to the most primitive and powerful racial or collective instinct a rhythm sense or "memory" which affects everything and which in the past was probably more potent than it is now. It would at least be more plausible to attribute these profound effects to devastating and instinct-searing tidal influences active during the formative times of the early race history of organisms; and whether or not any mechanism has been discovered or is discoverable to carry on this imprint through germ plasms, the remains that the imprint is there. The imprint is in us and in Sparky and in the ships master, and the palolo worm, in mussel worms, in chitons, and in the menstrual cycle of women. The imprint lies heavily on our dreams and on the delicate threads of our nerves, and if this seems to come a long way from sea-serpents and the Old Man of the Sea, actually it has not come far at all. The harvest of symbols in our mind seems to have been planted in the soft rich soil of our pre-humanity. Symbol, the serpent, the sea, and the moon might as well be only the signal light that the psycho-physiological warp exists.

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