This morning on the way to take Will to preschool, Drew saw a young deer grazing near the side of the road next to a hedgerow. Mind you, this is the suburbs, not open forest, but we still have deer, coyotes, fox and those nasty little pufftails some people like to call rabbits. Anyway, The boys held a discussion on whether it was a male or female deer, and decided it was female, based on the fact that it had no rack. (Different from humans, I suppose, but I digress.)
After some discussion about the availability of deer to graze near a busy suburban intersection, Drew suddenly burst out with, "Mom! They're cutting down all the trees! They cut them down all the time, to make new roads and new houses, and there's not going to be enough trees and then we won't have enough oxygen! Why? Whay are they doing this? Why don't they know without the trees WE WILL DIE?"
I thought, Jesus Christ on a cracker I have not had nearly enough coffee for this.
So I said, "Well, you're right. These are things we need to think about, and we have a responsibility to help educate others on the importance of trees. But you know, its better now than it was twenty years ago. Now, some builders try and save some of the trees when they build new neighborhoods and roads, and cities mandate certain amounts of green space for every new development, and so that helps."
Drew said "We could take the bus. More people could take the bus to work, then they wouldn't all have to drive." I told him that's exactly why he rides the bus to school instead of me driving him (he's out of school today, which is what made this entire conversation possible.) Then he said, "We could take the train!"
I said "sure, we could go ride a train sometime. Maybe at the zoo."
"NO MOM. Take the train somewhere. Like a real train. Like on a trip. Instead of driving."
WTF? We were saving trees, now we're going on vacation? "Uh, where do you want to go?"
Will said, "LEGOLAND!" And about that time we arrived at the preschool. Oh, look at the kitty.
Anyway, then when I got to work I see the news that Al Gore has been co-awarded the Nobel Prize. My husband has been grumbling about it all day, "stupid Al Gore unbelievable grumble grumble Nobel Prize my ass his house is like a powerplant grumble whatever".
But I think its pretty cool, frankly. I don't really care to what extent the man walks what he talks. And I don't really care what his politics are. He's obviously not perfect, he's a human like the rest of us, one man can only do so much. If he shed the powersuits for hemp shirts and moved off the grid to an adobe hut in New Mexico do you think anyone woud take him seriously? No. The point is he's raising awareness, people are talking about it whether they believe his facts or not.
My kids are talking about it. They are learning about saving the earth. They are teaching me.