Our first week of carpooling, which turned out to be four days instead of the three we’d planned, worked out really well after I decided to start driving the four and a half miles to Jody’s house instead of having her pick me up. (I want to ride my bicycle, but my family is totally freaked about how unsafe that road is for bicycles.) Anyway, now it’s starting to spread to our coworkers. Yesterday, I was talking to a guy at work about it, and he said that another guy lived near him, so they started talking, and realized that our lead developer is on their way in to the office too, and they’re setting up a three way carpool! So that takes three cars off the road! See? These painful gas prices are making some positive changes already!

I know that it’s not so easy for a lot of rural people who don’t have such options, especially rural people who were barely scraping by before the price hikes. I hope they can figure something out that doesn’t involve losing their homes, or giving up medicine or food. I know this is going to suck for a while for a lot of people, but I totally have faith in human ingenuity. If the Saudis don’t jump in yet again with some miracle to reduce prices (thereby ensuring a future market for their product) we might actually get some new renewable energy technology out of this crunch.

I’ve read a lot of science fiction. In a lot of authors’ imaginations, humans have to abandon Mother Earth once the damage becomes irreparable, and find a needle in a haystack–another planet that would support our statistically improbable form of life. Reading this kind of stuff makes you appreciate how narrow is the set of circumstances that makes our lives possible, and how stupid it is to mess with the balance our planet maintained so easily before its human infestation started getting out of hand. We really, REALLY have to STOP DAMAGING IT!!! AND find a way to undo the damage we’ve already done. Although, I believe that if we just stop damaging it, Earth will find a way to repair itself. You only have to walk around an abandoned human structure to see how quickly nature takes over. If the Earth were to wake up and decide to get rid of its human infestation right now (see? I could be a science fiction author!), most of the damage we’ve done would barely be detectable after a decade.

So what I’m saying is that all this weird and scary weather we’re having, although it’s stranger than what we’ve encountered in our history, is actually still miraculously within that narrow range of conditions that allows life on this planet to continue. Well, mostly–the tornadoes and cyclones and earthquakes and floods and tidal waves are clearing out swathes of us (the Earth getting rid of its infestation a little at a time?), but so far we haven’t been completely purged. We need to hurry the hell up and become a MUCH less irritating infestation so the Earth won’t find such a purge necessary.

Okay, so I’m being all science fictiony here, but seriously, the range of conditions that we can tolerate is very narrow, and the range of conditions that we find comfortable is even narrower. We really REALLY need to quit messing around and FIX all the things that we’ve done that might destroy it! NOW, PEOPLE! So write to your senators and your representatives and let them know that you don’t support things that hurt the environment–every time you hear about a plan that they have a chance to thwart, write to them again!

And carpool! It’s infectious!