Open Mic: I Won’t Tell You ‘I Told You So’

Few, if any, individuals like to hear the words “I told you so.” This seems to be as true for people who live in the North Bay as in any other part of the world.

Humans, as a species, like to believe we’re infallible, and scoff at what passes for wisdom in hindsight. The trick, if you can call it that, is to be as honest as can be in the present moment, but not so honest that people turn away and won’t listen. The truth hurts. These reflections are sparked by a recent article in The New York Times, the newspaper that has told the truth about the North Bay more often than any other publication, except the one you are now reading.

The article describes the devastation in vineyards and wineries in what ought to be called “Fire Country,” a place—like many others—where citizens try to deny climate change. I recently received a Facebook post from a dear friend who boasted about the bounty of her organic vegetable garden, and its connection to “Mother Earth,” and insisted that all was right with the world. I wonder how much longer she and others like her can avoid the reality of the fires that have swept across our hills and valleys and wrecked vineyards, wineries and homes, to say nothing of the droughts that make it increasingly difficult to grow grapes and vegetables.

When I complained to a friend, who raises chickens and who gives me eggs, that North Bay citizens are often Pollyannas who sit on their hands and hope for the best, he replied, “I’m spreading hope like chicken manure in the garden.”

I’ll take the manure any day. But spare me the hope that helps no one and I promise not to tell you “I told you so.”

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