Juxtaposition (This is Not a Poem)

Juxtaposition (This is not a poem)

Flashback to 2021
Cop Out at Cop26
Coal will be phased down but not phased out
Down But Not Out

Semantic Antics

This late amendment was tabled by the USA, China and India but India took most of the flak.

India’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are far lower than USA or China.

Canada’s per capita greenhouse gas emissions are higher than USA or China

But this is not a competition anyone wants to win.

This is not a poem.

November 12
Toxic air enveloped Delhi
making it the second most polluted city in the world.
According to 2020 average data
Hotan, China is the worst
Delhi is the 10th
so Delhi was having a bad day
50 percent of the pollution comes from vehicles.
If you go down the list
you have to get past the 200th most polluted city
to get out of India and China.

This is not a poem

The prosperity of the west was built on fossil fuels.

Carbon dioxide emissions are a subset of pollution

Pollution covers a multitude.

Imagine the human experiment as a black box emitting carbon dioxide. Reducing those emissions requires a collective approach. Is the human experiment capable of a collective approach. So far not so much.

This is not a poem

four years after the Great Smog of London
the Clean Air Act of 1956
prohibited the burning of coal in homes
change can happen

we are beside ourselves

we have been burning fossil fuel
to stay warm
since the cave
old habits die hard

we need speed bumps not fist bumps
we need idealism and pragmatism
we need strategy

this is not a poem

Sherry over at earthweal asks:

For your challenge: Express your thoughts and feelings about how humankind has brought Mother Earth to this critical point in time, and what you think and feel about where we go from here

This is a kind of rambling response.

Also taking part in Open Link over at dverse.

18 thoughts on “Juxtaposition (This is Not a Poem)

  1. Sherry Marr

    Gah. Nailed it. So well. Today in the UK, roads and railway tracks are melting and houses bursting into flame from heat……..half the globe is experiencing excessive temperatures. What are our leaders doing? Trying to find more oil. Some of us live with the lightest footprint we can manage. But we need legislation globally to do what needs to be done and I dont see a leader ready to step up. I see leaders wanting to be re-elected and divided governents who oppose what the other team is proposing. Meanwhile, the world burns. Good work, Jim. I love the title. I could find a poem in that, I think.


  2. Eilene Lyon

    It’s always about money and power. You have to wonder what planet these politicians plan to live on after they and their fossil fuel cronies have finished destroying this one. Some countries manage to get progressive, sensible, earth- and people-friendly laws passed, but not the great capitalist nations.


    1. sdtp33 Post author

      Couldn’t agree more. Up here in Canada, the economy runs on resource industries like oil and natural gas and I can’t see that changing much, it’s too easy to keep on doing the same thing. Our prime minister virtue signals like the pro that he is, but any progress is snail slow.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. susanstoo

    In long lines of backed up (gas-fueled) traffic, I see that the counties around Philly are installing speedbumps. These are not the bumps of which you speak. Your not-a-poem poem rocks.


  4. hedgewitch

    Tho it denies itself, the poem is strong in this one–with a leper’s squint from the eye of science and numbers to give it its own unbalanced balance. “..Is the human experiment capable of a collective approach. ..” yes, that’s the central question which roils the waters of complacency and oblivion that hide the magnitude of the problem we collectively face, further smothered by the untold millions of dirty money whose interests lie in our being too fragmented and distracted to act as a whole. A fine, shrewd and disturbing piece, Jim, and a terrifying juxtaposition throughout.


  5. lillian

    Excellent writing – making your point. The repetition of the title as two lines over and over in the poem….and then BAM! You change it to
    we are beside ourselves”
    and yep….makes us think – wake-up. And that’s exactly what we need to do instead of fist bumps.
    I enjoyed this.



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