.

Proof of Climate Change

The proof of existential crisis climate change is seen
In too much snow, too little snow, and all that’s in between.
When yearly total snowfall veers from norms more than a smidgeon,
Such climate change disaster evidence is like religion.

.

.

A Claudine Gay Class Lecture

“I have a dream today!”
__Claudine Gay cries,
“That racists will cease to say
__I plagiarize.”

.

.

The Great American Poem

I’ll go invent a cure for cancer,
Where life came from—find the answer.
I’ll help split couples reconcile,
And break the record for the mile.
When that’s all done, I’ll go back home
To write our nation’s greatest poem.

On second thought about that stuff,
I fear the poem might be too tough.

.

Friendship Span

I never formed more friendships than in school,
And thought they’d last forever as a rule.
But then I learned it sometimes is the case,
That friendships schools create, time can erase.

One friend could not take differing success.
Our several changed priorities caused stress,
While others went a wholly separate way,
A few put cancel culture on display.

Each one a loss, at first I took them hard,
Though not my choice, it pained to disregard.
How could such fine old friendships they just toss?
In time I learned to view this as their loss.

And looking back, I readily see reasons
Why friendships sometimes tend to run like seasons.

.

.

Russel Winick recently started writing poetry after ending a long legal career. He resides in Naperville, Illinois.


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40 Responses

  1. Joseph S. Salemi

    All four of these pieces are nicely done and crisp. Also, they are somewhat different from the usually thematic groupings of poems often published here at the SCP (e.g. “Poems about Stone,” “Poems about Religion”). These four are all on different subjects. The first is a satirical comment on the Climate Change Fraud; the second is a nice little smack at the nation’s most famous plagiarist; the third is about dreamy aspirations, followed by a devastating deflationary comment on our nation; and the fourth is a bittersweet reflection on the ways in which an old friendship can die.

    Sometimes I feel it’s better to put up a selection of totally unconnected small pieces, so that the reader can get a grasp of one’s versatility.

    Reply
  2. Mike Bryant

    I love all of these poems and the evident wisdom within them. Also props to Evan for the two graphs that represent the same temperatures over the same time period! Oh how graphs can lie!

    Reply
    • Paul A. Freeman

      I presume the blue graph is in Fahrenheit since the data was compiled by NASA. It seems to start around 1875, where there’s a spike in temperature in the brown graph – which is in Celsius. Both graphs seem to be charting an upward trend.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Right, Paul… but the small graph is purposely misleading and “scary.”
        There is no crisis… there is only a crisis in confidence in those doing “science” for money.
        You are in a new country… your new country is also placing big bets on fossil fuel. I have a feeling you will not call them out on it.

      • Paul A. Freeman

        Wow! Okay, I get it. You’re last comment is not taking into account an inability, conscious or unconscious, to read graphs.

        The US uses a scale of 32 to 212 to read temperature (along with Myanmar and Liberia). The rest of the world uses Celsius (0-100). The average temperature of the world is around 15 degrees Celsius, which is 59 degrees Fahrenheit for Americans and Liberians.

        Even a tiny variation on that 15 degrees Celsius has an enormous impact on the climate and the environment. The second graph is focusing on those smaller variations in temperature which shows a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase or, I believe, since I had to use mental math(s) and a bit of paper, is 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

        I agree that often, usually to show financial gains and losses, graph scales are manipulated, but not in this case, I’m afraid.

      • Mike Bryant

        I can read graphs. If you are frightened about a temperature rise of 3 degrees Fahrenheit over more than 150 years, you must be absolutely terrified about the change in temperature every day between breakfast and lunch. There is no climate crisis.
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/01/20/what-is-climate-richard-lindzen/
        There is a 100% probability that scientists will say whatever the government pays them to say.
        The era of experts is officially over. The science is no longer science it is politics or “consensus.”

      • Paul A. Freeman

        Zero Hedge, with its fake ‘theta’-style logo to make it look cool and serious, “is a far-right libertarian[18] financial blog and news aggregator.”

        “Over time (Zero Hedge) expanded into non-financial political content, including conspiracy theories and fringe rhetoric, advancing radical right, alt-right and pro-Russia positions”.

      • Paul A. Freeman

        Maybe read my last comment, Russel, and think on it before replying. Those accompaniments show exactly the peril that our planet is in.

    • Paul A. Freeman

      Mike, we’re looking at an average increase of temperature worldwide, not the daily temperature variation. You’re confusing the difference between weather and climate, much as former president Trump.

      A difference between an average world temperature of 15 degrees Celsius and 16.5 degrees Celsius in climate terms (not diurnally), which has occurred since the Industrial Revolution, is massive and cannot be wished away.

      I love the snarky comments, though, to deflect attention away from the true situation.

      Reply
      • Mike Bryant

        Paul, you are confusing temperature and climate.
        From the article by Richard Lindzen, a real physicist… not one of the new “climatologists.”

        Averaging Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea makes no sense. Instead, we average what is called the temperature anomaly. We average the deviations from a 30-year mean. The figure shows an increase of a bit more than 1°C over 175 years. We are told by international bureaucrats that when this reaches 1.5°C, we are doomed. In all fairness, even the science report of the UN’s IPCC (i.e. the WG1 report) and the US National Assessments never make this claim. The political claims are simply meant to frighten the public into compliance with absurd policies. It remains a puzzle to me why the public should be frightened of a warming that is smaller than the temperature change we normally experience between breakfast and lunch.
        In point of fact, the Earth has dozens of different climate regimes… Each of these represents different interactions with their environments. Are we really supposed to think that each of these regimes responds in lock-step with the global mean temperature anomaly?
        … Of course, the notion that global average temperature anomaly constitutes ‘climate’ is attractive due to its simplicity.
        Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it is correct.

        Paul, our climates are not changing. The temperature anomaly has increased, as near as climatologists can figure. Over the last some 175 years there have been hundreds of types of thermometers in hundreds of countries in thousands of places that have been haphazardly (and incorrectly) placed, maintained and recorded. Believing that this magic anomaly says anything about earth’s many climates and microclimates is ridiculous. That is why, as Lindzen points out, that only politicians make these stupid claims. Even the UN’s IPCC doesn’t claim it.
        I learned the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit in the fifth grade, so you got that right. But, the climate is NOT defined by the temperature anomaly. Thinking that it is, is simply wrong.

        Here is the link to Lindzen’s article:

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/01/20/what-is-climate-richard-lindzen/

      • Russel Winick

        Paul – While I write about political topics, among others, for SCP, I don’t care to debate such topics in this space, though I respect the rights of (and often am educated by) those who choose otherwise. You, along with many other SCP contributors, are a gifted and knowledgeable poet, and I would always be delighted to engage on the subject of formal poetry, for which SCP has been a godsend to me.

  3. Phil S. Rogers

    Climate change and Claudine Gay, short, and cutting. Ouch!
    Unfortunately, political ideology has caused many friends and family members to drift their separate ways, sometimes quietly, sometimes not. Such is life.

    Reply
  4. Norma Pain

    Thank you for these poems Russel. I enjoyed all four, especially “Proof of Climate Change”.

    Reply
  5. Cheryl Corey

    Your observations are always spot on. Russel, how ever do you do it? It’s a gift.

    Reply
  6. Brian A. Yapko

    All four of these poems are very enjoyable, Russel, each for different reasons. But I have a special antipathy for Claudine Gay, so I’m glad to see you skewer her.

    My favorite of the four is “Friendship Span” which has some very pointed observations about relationships. I’m tempted to qualify that and say relationships “these days” but wonder whether or not this is simply the nature of friendship — that a great many of them have expiration dates.

    What’s also neat about “Friendship Span” is that it’s actually seven couplets but divided into 3 quatrains with a final couplet. It’s in sonnet form but is it actually a sonnet? I see no reason why not. On the other hand, is any 14 line poems a sonnet simply by virtue of being 14 lines? You’ve raised (at least for me) an interesting form question.

    Thank you again for the entertaining work!

    Reply
    • Margaret Coats

      “Friendship Span” is a couplet sonnet. There are very many of these in English, and the term is recognized in sonnet criticism. It’s not just 14 lines that make a sonnet; the other important feature is a turn or volta. In this poem, Russel turns the thought at the standard spot–going from line 8 to line 9, where he begins to consider his reaction to experiencing friendship closure. This preserves the classic 8/6 proportion of a sonnet.

      However, since a couplet sonnet is necessarily an English sonnet ending in a couplet (Italian and French sonnets differ), there is also the option for a turn at the couplet. That is, thought could flow logically throughout 12 lines, and then be summarized or analyzed only in the final couplet, giving the poem a 12/2 proportion. Russel actually has a bit of a turn there as well, with his concluding explanation. But since he has a perfectly good turn earlier, I would prefer to say he maintains classic sonnet proportion.

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        See Sonnet 126 for a couplet sonnet by Shakespeare.

      • Russel Winick

        Thank you Margaret. Your knowledge is so far above mine that I couldn’t see it with the Hubble Space Telescope.

  7. Paul A. Freeman

    Friendship Span is a poignant poem. It’s a sad fact that our friends from school fall away as we pass through life, but that’s largely life getting in the way, and new friends being made. Even, so, it’s sad we can’t keep in touch.

    The Great American Poem made me laugh.

    Plagiarism! Should be up there with the other deadly sins.

    Climate change – I’ll take the 5th.

    Thanks for the reads, Russel.

    Reply
  8. Roy Eugene Peterson

    All four poems are succinct while packing a punch. Fortunately, the Plagiarist in Chief is gone from her position. You are so right about climate change. Their tune changes with the weather while holding onto abysmal beliefs. They are like the little red hen: “The sky is falling.” We all struggle to fulfill goals, as in your third poem. Friendships must constantly be evaluated and some of those from the distant past separate themselves from us.

    Reply
  9. Jeff Eardley

    Russell, so love the climate change piece. As to Claudine Gay, I’ve never heard of her, but I hate her already. “The Great American Poem,” you’ve just written four. Friends come and go as you say. I’ve been through loads of them. Four cutting-edge gems today. Well done.

    Reply
  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Russel, these four poetic treats give us a flavor of today’s rather bitter and nutty society. As ever they’re laced with a drizzle of humor to make the messages more palatable. My favorite is “A Claudine Gay Class Lecture” – oh, the irony. I like the nod to MLK Jr. Huge fun. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Russel Winick

      Thank you Susan. I enjoy your feedback almost as much as your magnificent poetry.

      Reply
  11. C.B. Anderson

    What you didn’t say, but what is implied in the first poem, is that hardly anyone understands the difference between climate and weather.

    The second poem is painful for me, because my only college degree was from Harvard University Extension. Fortunately Ms. Gay was not around at that time — just lurking in the shadows.

    Yeah. It’s hard to write a great poem.

    Old friends are hard to put aside, but we do it all the time. If only new friends would fill the breach, but for some reason that doesn’t seem to happen. And yet it is easy to dismiss the sheep and goats gone astray, because it’s not wrong to set aside unprofitable connections and interactions.

    Reply
  12. Paul A. Freeman

    I think it is important to address the two graphs shown with objectivity.

    The US uses a scale of 32 to 212 to read temperature (along with Myanmar and Liberia). The rest of the world uses Celsius (0-100). The average temperature of the world is around 15 degrees Celsius, which is 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Even a tiny variation on that 15 degrees Celsius has an enormous impact on the climate and the environment of our planet. The second graph is focusing on those smaller variations in temperature which shows a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase or, I believe, since I had to use mental math(s) and a bit of paper, is 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.

    I agree that often, usually to show financial gains and losses, graph scales are manipulated, but in this case it’s legitimate.

    Anyhow, that’s just my take.

    Reply
  13. Mike Bryant

    Russel, you have this Climate Change/Global Warming Religion thing figured out. I’d like to share a little thought experiment. Apparently, since the Little Ice Age in England, temperatures have increased 2 or 3 degrees. Now, if we really go crazy with wind and solar energy, it will crash the economy, like it has in Germany, it will increase energy prices, and, I suppose, we will bring those temperatures back down to the Little Ice Age norms. OK, don’t lose me now… so the pensioners and the poor, who are already having problems heating their homes, will have even more problems. How many pensioners are we gonna have to kill so we can cool things down a couple of degrees?
    It is a given that cold temperatures kill far more people than do hot temperatures.
    I don’t think that the globalists have really thought this thing through. Or perhaps they have.

    Reply
  14. Mike Bryant

    Russel, my reply to Paul above was hard to read so I am placing it here:

    Paul, you are confusing temperature and climate.
    From the article by Richard Lindzen, a real physicist… not one of the new “climatologists.”

    Averaging Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea makes no sense. Instead, we average what is called the temperature anomaly. We average the deviations from a 30-year mean. The figure shows an increase of a bit more than 1°C over 175 years. We are told by international bureaucrats that when this reaches 1.5°C, we are doomed. In all fairness, even the science report of the UN’s IPCC (i.e. the WG1 report) and the US National Assessments never make this claim. The political claims are simply meant to frighten the public into compliance with absurd policies. It remains a puzzle to me why the public should be frightened of a warming that is smaller than the temperature change we normally experience between breakfast and lunch.
    In point of fact, the Earth has dozens of different climate regimes… Each of these represents different interactions with their environments. Are we really supposed to think that each of these regimes responds in lock-step with the global mean temperature anomaly?
    … Of course, the notion that global average temperature anomaly constitutes ‘climate’ is attractive due to its simplicity.
    Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it is correct.

    Paul, our climates are not changing. The temperature anomaly has increased, as near as climatologists can figure. Over the last some 175 years there have been hundreds of types of thermometers in hundreds of countries in thousands of places that have been haphazardly (and incorrectly) placed, maintained and recorded. Believing that this magic anomaly says anything about earth’s many climates and microclimates is ridiculous. That is why, as Lindzen points out, that only politicians make these stupid claims. Even the UN’s IPCC doesn’t claim it.
    I learned the difference between Celsius and Fahrenheit in the fifth grade, so you got that right. But, the climate is NOT defined by the temperature anomaly. Thinking that it is, is simply wrong.

    Here is the link to Lindzen’s article:

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2024/01/20/what-is-climate-richard-lindzen/

    Reply

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