Wednesday, July 8, 2009
dream and nightmare
I don't know if I've ever mentioned how much I love the films made by anime director Hayao Miyazaki who made Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service and Howl's Moving Castle among others. There's something about his vision of the world as it almost is, as it never quite was, as it could possibly be, that catches my heart.
It's probably no more than the glimmerings of things seen and understood from a pre-verbal childhood, one that happened for me before the advent of television. I was born in England quite a long time ago when remnants of magic still existed especially in the countryside. My parents, who had survived the horrors of WWII, pointed out fairy paths to amuse me when we picnicked in verdant green fields dotted with tiny white daisies, clover and myriad buttercups. Eventually, we left for Canada but the memories of magic went with me.
Today I read that James Lovelock, the now 90 year old English scientist who first propounded the Gaia Theory has written another book called 'The Vanishing Face of Gaia'. He feels we've missed the tiny window of opportunity that still existed until a few years ago to curtail the habits of ours that are leading to global climate change and there are many scientists who now agree with him. It was Lovelock 'who established that the various components of the biosphere - plants, animals, minerals, gases, the sun's heat - interact in such a way as to create and maintain a climate amenable to life'. The icecaps and glaciers are rapidly shrinking, carbon consuming algae in the seas are dying and methane release from melted permafrost will only hasten the heating trend currently underway.
He believes that with luck we'll avoid global resource wars but even so the earth's carrying capacity could be markedly reduced in the coming century. We all know what he means by that and it makes me feel more sad than words can say to think of it at all. But I'm an escape artist and Lovelock has also offered an escape - into a future world where we've learned our lessons about war and greed. I hope he's right about that part even as I hope there's still time for the children we love to grow up and make the decision to have fewer children themselves. Meanwhile I'll take comfort when and where it's offered which for me sometimes includes Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli.
My Neighbour Totoro :-)