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Mom worries about Global Warming — rightly so. Her biggest concern is not for herself, but for her grandchildren (mostly grown-ups now) and the idea of a legacy. What will the future bring? Will it be too hot, too deep, too empty? She doesn’t know — but nevertheless she cares. I get it, and we talk about it when I visit her. Now, it wouldn’t help to explain to Mom that nothing as complex as the climate is linear, that the icecaps won’t melt and raise the water level three feet so that Miami is awash — something else, much more horrific may happen first: great hurricanes that scrape cities from the map or changes to the oceans currents or some other situation that even Hollywood and its bevy of disaster movie writers cannot yet imagine are more likely ends. So Mom and I talk instead about enjoying simple meals and listen to Schubert and watch the Animal Planet channel and discuss what we’re reading. And speaking of reading, I went out recently to a local bookstore, where there was a copy — bound with Moroccan leather in two volumes, over a century old — of Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend. Beautiful. $175 USD. Oh, my. And I had a small epiphany. I love books, love collecting them, but decided I will not pay that much for a book I’ve already read, and won’t read again in that particularly luxurious, expensive copy. Because there are actually better things to do with money. I won’t go through them right now — you’re smart people and you have your own list. Support science and culture. Support individual artists and musicians and authors and bookstores and galleries. Support your friends. Leave a legacy. And suffice to say that we have a donation button over there on the left.

GS