Nyel Says It’s “Global Darkening”


It seemed unusually dark the other morning – especially for this time of year, we thought – and Nyel and I got to talking about moonrise and cloud cover and all those celestial phenomena that have transformed the nightly weatherman into a meteorologist who clots up the news with charts and graphs and boredom-a-nauseum night after night.  Nyel, who often cuts right to the chase, said: “I think it has to do with Global Darkening.”

Immediately, we began to talk about the dark side of everything human – all those dread diseases and mass shootings and nations of refugees on the move and the rash (ahem!) of sexual predators and the rise of fascism across the planet… and on and on.  It was Depressing with a capital D.  Like the D is Global Darkening.

Lord of the Flies

Although neither of us had heard the term before, I couldn’t believe that Nyel had really coined such a clever phrase.  Not because he’s not clever, but just because ‘they’ say that there has never been a new thought – or probably not in Oysterville, Washington.  So, I Googled “Global Darkening.”

What popped up immediately was “Global Dimming” which, according to Wikipedia is the gradual reduction in the amount of global direct irradiance at the Earth’s surface that was observed for several decades after the start of systematic measurements in the 1950s. The effect varies by location, but worldwide it has been estimated to be of the order of a 4% reduction over the three decades from 1960–1990.  Well… close, but way too limiting.

I personally think that Nyel’s term is right on the money.  What we are seeing, hearing, learning, and being horrified by in news report after news report has to do with the dark side of human nature.  Dim may be part of it – as in dull-witted and stupid or, even, as in hard to see.  But the Darkening that Nyel is talking about is exactly as it sounds – the dark side of humanity as a global circumstance beyond any one person’s control.  It’s the Lord of the Flies all grown up and out of control.

“Peter, Paul, and Mary”

Again, I went to Google and took a look at sites that explore such topics.  What is the dark side of a human being?  Beware of the “dark side” of humanity during any collapse.  Infamous study of humanity’s ‘dark side.’  The titles were all very depressing.  Not very informative.  What we need is a Sigmund Freud, or perhaps a Carl Jung in combination with an Al Gore, the World Health Organization, and perhaps a little Yin Yang theory thrown in for good measure, to get to work on it.

I’m not suggesting that we put our concerns about Climate Change on hold.  But perhaps we’d better give equal time to the issue of Global Darkening.  As Peter, Paul and Mary sang (but did we listen?), “Don’t let the light go out…”

Leave a Reply