…waiting for someone to say “hello in there, hello”…

The great John Prine wrote that song about old people, when he was quite a young man and shouldn’t have known as much as he seems to have about the human condition.  To me, the image below is not just the face of age, but also the face of want.  A volcano erupted in Iceland recently, disturbed a lot of flights in Europe and caused vacation consternation, but it’s not the first time that happened there.  In 1783 the Laki volcano started an eight-month eruption cycle with unbelievable consequences for Iceland, and indeed the world.
Iceland: 25% of the population died from starvation and fluoride poisoning, as well as 80% of the sheep and 50% of cattle and horses.  They literally have never recovered.
Europe: an estimated 120 million long tons of sulphur dioxide was emitted, with amazing consequences to the weather.  They had long, hard winters, absurdly hot summers, record crops and crop failures…in short the weather was off the hook, and not in a B-52s “party in the Love Shack” kind of way.
World at Large:  nerds with too much time on their hands and a keen grasp of statistics will tell you that North America had one of its worst winters ever, that the monsoon in India and Africa failed leading to famine in Egypt that cost it one-sixth of its population, and that the general poverty and famine due to the freakish weather contributed to the French Revolution.
This sculpture by Rolf Lunde, called Tårnpeter, stands in Oslo outside the National Gallery. (30 August, 2011  Oslo, Norway)

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