No travel this time, not on this shift. Today is a muse on immortality, something you are not guaranteed, even if you go camping every weekend. We camp a lot (especially lately!) and it provides us plenty of fresh air, sunshine, and happiness. (For those of you old enough to remember The Carpenters, you can imagine them humming a tune in the background as you read this). But immortal we are definitely not, and we think that’s just fine. I couldn’t bear the thought of the ScreenTime app on my smartphone going into a Y2K tizzy because I overflowed the total hours counter many decades into the future. Not gonna happen.

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal on the Immortal Jellyfish. Scientists are studying this briny Houdini in a quest to discover why we age and how they might stop that process or even reverse it. Be careful what you wish for, we say, be very careful.

The normal jellyfish life cycle looks like so many others: an egg is created and the parent dies; the egg hatches; a larval stage ensues; the larva advances to an adult and produces more eggs before it dies. This cycle churns the DNA with constant recombination providing the path for a Darwinian upgrade to the species.

The Immortal Jellyfish, found in the waters of Spain, has somehow rewired the adult phase of the life cycle to short-change the grim jellyfish reaper. After producing eggs, the adult begins a “decay” process wherein the body cells revert to juvenile stem cells resulting in a sort of faux zygote that then “rebirths” itself back into the pupal stage, a metaphysical rinse-and-repeat. Voila, immortality!

This one could be its own Grandpa!

You can’t fight the Second Law of Thermodynamics, as I was recently reminded by yet another WSJ article, which describes entropy, the inevitable onset of discord and chaos in our physical world. Eventually the Universe will die from it in something called “heat death”, where everything that is hot warms everything that is cold until a static peace results. That Second Law constantly reminds us that there is a never-ending battle between gravity (producing nuclear reaction fueled star growth) and entropy (degrading stars back to raw elements) that will eventually combine all the forces and energy of the Universe into a big, flat pool of lukewarm nothingness. At least until Elon Musk or some other bright nerdy entrepreneur figures out how to turn the entropy switch off. I’m not waiting for that. In the long haul (much greater than 10 or 12 years [fact-checkers agree]), the end game of total physical annihilation appears predictable, even if we can easily hide heads in the sand about it for thousands of millennia to come.

In the much, much, much shorter term, we have so many other things that threaten our existence to worry about, reasons not to want to live so long as to see them all play out to their ultimate conclusions. For instance, we’re very aware of climate change, it would be foolish not to be. Climate change has been constant for the entire history of Earth’s existence, as evidenced by countless ice ages and evolution itself. It isn’t a stretch to understand that virtually every living thing on Earth contributes to climate change in small or large ways, humans included. We’re old enough to remember being held inside during elementary school recess because the air pollution in LA was so bad you couldn’t see or breath outside. In those days the climate hysterians (aka activists) were assuring us that we would all choke to death in less than 10 years if we didn’t abolish cars. But clear heads prevailed, and a semi-disciplined open discussion ensued, and reasonable politicians enacted reasonable regulations, and clever engineers developed clever technologies that resulted in the fairly clean air we breathe today, even with an order of magnitude more cars on the road. That was, in my opinion, a well-played-out conclusion and we applaud our generation for rising to the challenge and quashing the predicted demise of humanity.

If the present generation fails to study previous generations enough to see that problems can be solved without hysterics and drum-beating, I’ll bet my bottom dollar (if inflation doesn’t take it first!) that Climate Hysteria, which has been so in vogue for 50 years or more, will hasten the end of humankind as we once knew it far faster and with greater efficiency than Climate Change ever could hope to. Just take a look at the collapse of agriculture and the economy in Sri Lanka, recently victimized by UN and World Economic Forum policies for a sustainable planet forced upon them to receive financial support. To better understand what happened to that country, watch what is happening right now to Denmark, in the throes of completely re-regulating their entire world-class agricultural industry, apparently to the point of potential complete failure, all in the name of saving the planet from cow farts. The march to the end of humanity (as we used to know it) is fully underway, and that march is producing unintended consequences in a much shorter timespan than the classic “12 years to Armageddon” we’ve become familiar with many times in our short lifetimes. I’ve no desire to stick around long enough to see this march conclude, or if it’s stopped to see another inevitable march sneak through to the finish line.

We’re pretty content to try and reach the goal of blowing out 100 candles, maybe even stretching that a bit. Seeing family grow, and more family added. Making new friends, and thoroughly enjoying the ones we’ve made and kept already. We’re placing our faith in everyday people recovering the rational and sane processes to successfully engineer the way forward on the coat tails of climate change. We think that faith might see us through another 30 years or so, and we plan to make the best of them. Even if I couldn’t muster the right stuff to pass the Grandma Test, and had to settle for the title of Grandpa, it’s gonna be a good ride!

Tippy wants to stick around with us.

About W&W Mudd

Re-retired again, Wendy and Warren publish as they adventure into the far reaches of their New World.
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  1. Robert J. Fernandez says:

    Finally some truth about climate change to offset the propaganda of the Enviro Nazis; very refreshing. I would like to see John Kerry setting off from San Francisco, swimming, hooked arm and arm with Gavin Newsom; the bad news is that they would pollute the ocean. Thanks for the message, be well and keep enjoying life.
    Bob Fernandez

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