Words & Banter

A Climate Of Blame

Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

When you say “Kentucky,” we think of the Kentucky Derby, not a 1,000-year flood that took dozens of lives, destroyed homes, and left the region devastated. And California? Our memories are of Disney Land in the south and the beauty of San Francisco in the north, not fires raging out of control. And the Hoover Dam’s supposed to conjure up images of water and waterpower, not drought and “bathtub rings”.

But climate change has changed all that. And, yes, there’s now climate change legislation that will (hopefully) begin to make a difference, but we still find ourselves, with each passing climate disaster, asking why everyone seems to be more focused on blaming others … for what’s been done – and what hasn’t been done.

A few months ago, when Red made an innocent (or so she thought) comment about summer, Black turned it into a discussion about climate change. And the blame game. (Anyone who knows Black knows there’s no telling what “dots” she’ll connect.) And in “RED & BLACK ... A Climate Of Blame,” we question whether we’re (well, technically, our generation since we’re baby boomers) to blame. But the answer may not be what you expected …

Want to read other columns? Here’s a list.

Photo by OnTheRunPhoto for iStock


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I keep getting emails about where to go for mocktails. I know alcohol-free cocktails, like Virgin Margaritas, have been around for a while, but I’d never heard that term before. Do you think it has to do with New Year’s resolutions?


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It can if any of your resolutions are to lose weight, save money, sleep better. Or, drink less. Psychologically, January is the month when we “reset”, so a UK-based organization, Alcohol Change UK, started Dry January, where you abstain from drinking alcohol.


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Perfect timing since many people shop, eat, and drink more than usual over the holidays.


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I know you used to drink a glass of Cold Duck on New Year’s Eve, a tradition going back to our childhood, but that hardly counts as drinking. But, I have always wondered why you rarely drink, but never asked.
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Photo by bhofack2 for iStock

Popcorn! Quite simply, it’s one of my absolute favorite things. Starting when I was a child, whenever I went to the movies, I’d get (and finish!) the largest bucket of popcorn available. And I always thought movie popcorn was far superior to what you could make at home … until a recent trip to visit a close friend in Tennessee, and she introduced me to Great Northern Popcorn (I promise this isn’t a paid ad). Now I’m addicted to it as I can make it on my cooktop. I know Black would be more interested in the science of what makes popcorn pop, but I prefer to just be obsessive about my popcorn …

Popcorn. Just the thought of popcorn makes me smile, makes me want to indulge, makes me happy. And I’m guessing my popcorn obsession makes Black roll her eyes (although she might admit it can be a healthy snack). However, plenty of people must love popcorn as much as I do. Why else would there be a National Popcorn Day?!

Over the past few years, the pandemic posed challenges that none of us could’ve foreseen (and I’ll never forget the dedication of the front-line workers or make light of the sacrifices so many had to make). But part of me has to laugh at the irony because it ended my seemingly easy “escape” from the stresses of life – going to the movies and enjoying the largest bucket of popcorn – when I needed it the most.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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You’re going to roll your eyes, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about myself.


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That is totally out of character, unless you are thinking of New Year’s resolutions.


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Actually, no. For decades, my priorities, and therefore my life, have always been focused on the girls and Mom. But that’s all changing. And I’m not sure how to “change” with it.
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