Newtown: Just Leave Us to Grieve in Peace
As I do every Friday, I sort through my week's clipping files in preparation for this column. I was going to write about energy. The optimistic assessments of natural resources and the fracking technique to extract them has every potential of changing our economic future for the better and the repressive regimes of the Middle East for the worse.
This despite the uninformed blather about its dangers and constraints to its use, and the ridiculous wasted billions on government subsidies and grants funneled into a make-believe solar energy future.
Even better, the draft report of the UN's climate watchdog, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was leaked this week, and it undermines their claim that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is a serious global threat. The irradiation from the sun plays a bigger role in the climate of the earth and there doesn't seem a whole lot that throwing money at bundlers and UN grifters can do about that.
As Professor Pielke notes, the report is optimistic on several other counts: "[IPCC Draft report echoes Climate Depot's Extreme Weather Report]: 'No significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency... does not support AR4 conclusions regarding global increasing trends in droughts... low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale... there is currently no clear and widespread evidence for observed changes in flooding'".
But that and everything else in my clipping file faded to insignificance when reports of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacre hit the wires.
There have been school shootings before but this one was particularly painful to learn about.
In the first place the children were so young and innocent -- kindergartners. In the second, it is the season when young children are especially full of happiness. Their homes are filled with Chanukah and Christmas decorations and gifts. Their houses smell of yummy things to eat. Families make a special effort to be together for the holidays. One account of the incident underscores this. Kaitlin Roig, who rescued her first grade students by locking them in the bathroom and barricading the door, told reporters, "The kids were being so good. They asked: 'Can we go see if anyone is out there? ...I just want Christmas... I don't want to die, I just want to have Christmas.' I said, you're going to have Christmas and Hanukkah.. I tried to be positive."
Now families will come home from the morgue to face their unimaginable losses surrounded by presents still unwrapped, joyful decorations now trimming houses robbed of all joy. Siblings and parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins and neighbors stricken with sadness.
I think of the survivors' families, too. Parents dealing with traumatized children and trying to comfort grieving neighbors, relatives, and friends.
Last but not least I mourn for the teachers and emergency workers who viewed the carnage and certainly will not forget it as long as they live.
No sooner did the news hit the wires than the political prattle about it began. Stop it.
For once, act like human beings. Can the gun talk; hold up on the sociological musings; button your lips on all the usual chatter when horrors occur. Maybe people spend too much time on TV programs where there's a wrapup after half an hour and expect real life to follow that schedule.
For some things there are no easy explanations or solutions,
This it seems to me is one of those things.
For once, think of Newtown, the town where Christmas will never be the same. A place where school will never hold the same sense of security for the children or their families, Parents in Newtown will never drop their children off at the school doors again without telling them how much they love them.
It's not the first or the worst such disaster. Cathy Fasano reminds us of the Bath, Michigan school bombing in 1927 where a mad school board treasurer killed 45 people and wounded 58, mostly schoolchildren, when he blew up the school, his house, and farm buildings. For good measure he detonated his own car also packed with explosives so the rescuers were also killed.
Nor is it the only such disaster in the world. On the very same day that this occurred, the Chinese suffered another in a series of knife attacks by madmen at a school. This one resulted in the stabbing of 22 children and a elderly woman, The Telegraph recounts the Chinese school assaults:
No motive was given for the stabbings, which echo a string of similar assaults against schoolchildren in 2010 that killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50....
The most recent such attack took place in August, when a knife-wielding man broke into a middle school in the southern city of Nanchang and stabbed two students before fleeing.
Most of the attackers have been mentally ill men involved in personal disputes or unable to adjust to the rapid pace of social change in China, underscoring grave weaknesses in the antiquated Chinese medical system's ability to diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.
In one of the worst incidents, a man described as an unemployed, middle-aged doctor killed eight children with a knife in March 2010 to vent his anger over a thwarted romantic relationship.
So spare us all for a decent interval the long distance shibboleths of gun control, the amateur psychoanalysis, the morbid and soul killing paparazzi shots of parents learning for the first time of the slaughter of their children.
Let's have a decent silence to contemplate the eternal nature of evil and the tragic loss we all feel.
Back away from the microphones.
Put down those cameras.
Let us just grieve.