So zestfully canst thou sing?
And all this indignity,
With God’s consent, on thee!
Blinded ere yet a-wing
By the red-hot needle thou,
I stand and wonder how
So zestfully thou canst sing!
Resenting not such wrong,
Thy grievous pain forgot,
Eternal dark thy lot,
Groping thy whole life long;
After that stab of fire;
Enjailed in pitiless wire;
Resenting not such wrong!
Who hath charity? This bird.
Who suffereth long and is kind,
Is not provoked, though blind
And alive ensepulchred?
Who hopeth, endureth all things?
Who thinketh no evil, but sings?
Who is divine? This bird.
Poor Thomas Hardy. Such a plodding novelist, and such a magnificent poet. (A distinction which may be lost, if one hasn’t consulted either of the primary sources, and if one is depending on a Google search or Wikipedia reference to form one’s opinion. But, never mind. “Everyone has to be somewhere,” as Mr. Right was fond of saying.)
But, you see, I am old enough to have read a great deal of Thomas Hardy, and even to remember when the term “science” and the process known as the “scientific method,” and investigation known as “scientific experimentation” knew no bounds.
Good Lord. Did any serious “scientist” believe, a hundred years ago, that man would ever land on the moon, let alone do so and then return to earth?
I think not. Some loony authors of mad science fiction might have considered the possibility. But that’s about it.
Still, people questioned. And an American President made a promise. And, by God, we did it! Fifty-two years ago, this upcoming July.
So when Bill Gates throws his weight behind “solar geoengineering,” although I might think he’s bonkers, and although I might invoke the story of Daedelus and Icarus in support of my belief (because, as I’ve often said, I think there’s a reason that “archetypes” are just that, and that our stories and myths are incredibly important to our culture and our lives), I say, “full steam ahead!” Go for it!
In the first place because I think Bill Gates is throwing his money away. (Yay! He’ll have less of it to spend on other half-baked Leftist projects then.) But in the second place because I’d really like to know if it’s possible to alter the earth’s physical climate and atmosphere by doing some of the things that the Harvard Project is proposing.
Only then will we be able to actually know if the project was worthwhile or not. Because, like it or not, Virginia, that is how “science” works.
The history of the world is littered with the skeletons and the detritus from intelligent and forward-thinking people who had ideas the rest of us couldn’t imagine. Some of those ideas went horribly wrong. Some of them simply disintegrated and fell onto the ash-heap of history. But some of those same people kept trying, and some of them cobbled those bits-and-pieces of junk put forward by themselves and others into some of the most brilliant ideas known to man.
One of those people may have been Bill Gates. Just sayin’.
I’m willing to wait and see on this one.
Full disclosure: Many years ago, I was involved in the early stages of the development and support of a computerized medical records program. The company who developed it was based in Seattle. On my several trips to the area, I occasionally was able to float up and down Lake Washington on a tour. On a few of those occasions, we floated past the Gates estate, and the tour guide never failed to wax lyrical on Bill Gates and his love of family, and the fact that he was often spotted, on his estate, playing with his kids. I think most of Bill Gates’s neighbors regard him as a pretty good guy. And even though I think he’s an unregenerate Lefty, that counts for something with me.