Monday, May 25, 2015

Random ramblings about the Hampton Roads (5/24/2015)

The Australian kayaker Steve Posselt visited the area this past week.  He is trying to convince the world about the gravity of global warming by kayaking in 3 continents.  He eventually plans to end up in Paris for the next climate conference.   There are many ways people try to focus our attention to a (their) cause: be it dead soldiers with Memorial Day, multiple sclerosis with an MS 180 bike ride (I rode one from Houston to Austin 8 years ago), a breast cancer walk for life, circumnavigate the Americas for disabled sailors, or even kayaking the world to focus attention on global warning.

I have been interested in the issue of how to convince people that environmental responsibility is a must.  It seems that there is a group that is concerned about the environment and a whole group of people who do not seem to give a damn.  Crazy enough they seem to fall out along political or ideological lines, or even religious lines.  That's what's fascinating me.  As I mentioned in my bio, it was Stanford University's psychologist Leon Festinger who wrote the following in the 1950s:  "A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point."  Call me crazy, but it still applies 60 years later.   I really wonder how to get that paradigm shift, but I'm afraid that they'll only see the point when it is way too late.

The way I see it, it was Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who reminded us that we humans had dominion over " the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’ (Gen.1:28).  In the Novum Organon, Bacon writes: "Let the human race recover that right over nature which belongs to it by divine bequest."  It is scary to see that in those days we already felt that we owned the earth and that we could do with it what we wanted, with the excuse that God gave us permission (dominion).  Still now do I see Facebook posts by religious friends that tell me to trust God, and to relax because God is in control.  I find this outright scary, but it illustrates the divide that I was writing about; although as I am often reminded by Donna (my wife), dominion over nature does not mean that you do not need to take care of it.  Dominion means you have a responsibility to take care of the eartg.  I honestly do not think that any God would have a plan to let her/his creation go to hell.

Anyway Steve Posselt called our area "This is a staggering part of the world," or as I may paraphrase one of the crown jewels in God's creation.  Below are a set of pictures that I have taken over the years of this crown jewel.  Hopefully we can preserve this beautiful landscape.

View of the James River from Surry towards Jamestown

York River from York River State Park

Sunset over the York River from the National Colonial Parkway

About the cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel with my sailboat 

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