Monday, October 31, 2011

Quick Take: The Original Perfect Storm

I'm sitting on my front porch, handing out candy to neighborhood kids and reading Stephen M. Gardiner's new book, A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change  (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Can you guess why?

I'll have more to say about the book soon, but reading it on Halloween night, and coming across references to Sebastian Junger's book and the sinking of the Andrea Gail, it occurred to me that this is the 20th anniversary of the original perfect storm, the Halloween Nor'easter of 1991.

I was living on Long Island at the time but, lubber that I am, and preoccupied as I was by graduate student life, I remember it only as an especially nasty few days of rain and wind.

It was only years later, when I read Junger's book, that I began to grasp the immensity of what had gone on all around me.

There's a lesson in that.

It was some years still later that I began to grasp that I had, in effect, been present at the birth of a robust meme.

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