Chaotic Ideas

We rely on the predictability of the climate. Granted, predicting weather is an imprecise science—some would call it an art—but climate is another story. Summer follows Spring, which follows Winter, which follows Fall, with precedes Summer, etc., etc. We know the cycle. We count on it, year after year. But we may be entering an era of unpredictability. Summer may not always surrender to Fall. Winter may not yield to Spring. How would a dramatic interruption of the regularity of the season affect our lives? Crops, of course, would be among the first to experience the changes in the normal weather patterns associated with climatic cycles. Disruptions in climate cycles would quickly impact everything from shipping to agricultural employment to the timing of seasonal lines of clothing. Chaos would rein supreme, at least for a while. But humankind would adapt. Though the changes might trigger enormous adjustments—millions (or just dozens) might die in the frenzied acclimatization—humans would muddle through. Maybe. Or perhaps climatic changes would be seen by vast numbers of inhabitants of Planet Earth as precursors to a mass extinction—and, anticipating that potentially excruciating event, those people might unite in and carry out a global suicide pact. Other possible outcomes of massive changes to climate are possible, of course. Millions of possible outcomes. Maybe even billions. or more.

Image this: Temperatures dancing between 99°F and 105°F in late June. Continuing through July. And August. And September. And, January ends and February begins, more of the same. No signs of Fall. No signs of Winter. Just evidence of perpetual Summer.

I could make a story out of this. If I worked at it. If I had the motivation. If I could get my mind off other things. Other potential catastrophes. Other closing chapters. I can, of course. But will I?


When Time drags like an anchor,
When it slows to a crawl
When all around you there’s rancor
And Life feels like a brawl
Don’t worry, we’ve got you
All it takes is a shout
To get a new tattoo
So lose any doubt
We’ll take you on road trips
And embrace you with love
That’s etched on our lips
From the sky up above.


The sky is a bit hazy. The morning light is pleasantly dim. Time for me to change clothes from early morning leisure-wear to church-worthy casual.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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