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Speaking of Earth in crisis 

My friend and I sat parked outside of a strip mall yesterday. In the distance, a man was smoking—we caught just a whiff of looming miasma, but that was enough. Hurriedly, we shut the windows.

Recently, someone questioned my view on smoking. A reluctant debater, I merely said, "Cigarettes stink!" I didn't mention those 300 chemical poisons, which—if inadvertently inhaled, I fear would stress my already damaged immune system. Nor did I mention my poor grandmother, whom we watched painfully die of cigarette-induced lung cancer at the age of 73 on a heartbreaking Christmas Day. (Ironically, Christmas was Grandma's favorite day of the year.)

I'll say this much: It keeps getting harder. In the macrocosm, poisons are catastrophic, omnipresent, and there's no escape. We humans seem hell-bent on annihilating all life. The proposed fracking of SLO County (the federal government proposing to open up land to fracking) would toxify our air and water, despite rhetoric to the contrary. And, in Japan, the director of Fukushima's nuke has proposed dumping a million tons of radioactively hot wastewater into the Pacific Ocean that we share.

This is what it boils down to here on Earth: Something huge and horrific looms on the horizon. All I can do is shut my windows and pray.

No, I don't want to mention the loss of glaciers and the fall of empires, nor the myriad species plodding the trail of tears to extinction, nor yet the impending doom of a heedless humanity on a ticking time-bomb named Earth.

Collette Marie

Arroyo Grande

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