Anyone checking out my website might well wonder about the seeming contradiction in the site’s title, An Optimist in Dreamland, with its subtitle, Humor for a Doomed Planet. While I offer a brief explanation on my site’s Welcome page, the full story is that, as an environmental scientist and a professional level daydreamer, I am both an optimist and a pessimist when it comes to the fate of our home planet. I really do wish the two sides got along better, with so much at stake and all. I think the Earth and I deserve better.
You could say, much like you could say about the Earth itself, that I am at a tipping point. And although I completely understand that while the Earth is having a whole lot more influence on my feelings than I am having on its, I remain worried for the both of us that the next additional insult could be the one where the Earth decides it’s had enough. Whether in solidarity or otherwise, I’m pretty sure that would put an end to An Optimist in Dreamland.
In case you haven’t noticed, all the good things on Earth are on the Optimist’s side of the scale – from the Grand Canyon to your neighborhood sandlot, from the Amazon forest to your favorite tree, from elephants to butterflies, and so on. I’ve deliberately left humans off this list because they don’t seem so good at the moment. Oh sure, there are plenty of good ones, working hard to tip the earth in the right direction. It’s hard work, as all the big money seems to be on the Doomed Planet for some reason. Maybe it’s because those humans have never seen the Grand Canyon or an elephant before, or even looked closely at a butterfly, or stopped to smell the petunias.
I know it can sometimes be fun to bet on the underdog, but things have gone far enough, don’t you think? Money is nice, but it can buy neither love, nor elephants, to say nothing about a new Earth. Just a thought, but I’m thinking that if all that money were used to bet ON the Earth instead of against it, the pessimists wouldn’t stand a chance. Humor for a Doomed Planet would be a thing of the past, and I can live with that. Perhaps these humans will change. Or perhaps I’m too much of an Optimist in Dreamland.