Look, the destruction is all around. It continues unabated. The world is an inferno, burning everything to death.

And we all pitch in.

In the Snake Range of eastern Nevada, a student of the University of North Carolina was taking core samples of bristlecones in 1964. He was looking for a way to study ancient warming patterns. He looked around for about five minutes, found an old bristlecone pine, and bored into it. His coring tool broke off inside the tree. Now he was stuck, because it was five minutes into his research for the year, and he was going to have to go home empty handed. He found some forest service guys and explained his predicament to them. 

“No problem.” They said. “We’ll cut down the tree and get your tool out. There’s a million of those trees out here.”

So they cut it down, he got his coring tool, and a sample of the trees rings. 

He counted them, found out he’d just cut down a tree that was over four-thousand, five hundred years old.

He’d just killed the oldest living thing on the planet.


He felt just awful about it, but it couldn’t be undone.


That’s just how we proceed.


Making mistakes that we can’t take back. 

Out of ignorance, when we are at our best. Usually, our motives are less pure.


Results are the same, however.


We’re all of us shuffling down a chute that might have been designed by Temple Grandin, beautiful and strange, the path narrowing almost imperceptibly, till we are squeezed into a pen and hit between the eyes with the slaughterman’s bolt.


It’s nice while it lasts, I think.