In the 21st Century, mankind continues to have sufficient reasons for disappointment and concern. There is yet no establishment of lasting world peace. World poverty and hunger have still to be adequately addressed. Economic injustice seems to prevail everywhere, with small percentages of national populations owning virtually all the wealth, while the far more numerous others are suffering various conditions of want. The planet and its immediate atmosphere is in the process of despoliation, despite which, many ignorant people, and selfish profiteers, are adamantly denying climate change (in the face of uniform warnings of the world’s most accredited scientists). Most rational priorities have been turned profoundly askew, with the denigration of scientific and social research, as well as intellectual pursuits.
If one were systemically optimistic, he might entertain the hope that in the future, mankind, at some point, will become more informed and motivated, and such problems then capable of solution; what is necessary, he knows, is merely a popular realization that the path to their amelioration is in the direction of addressing such problems by rational awareness and enlightenment.
Sadly, no such optimistic outlook is possible for Sr. Antonio Vivaldi, the brilliant 18th Century composer. His most famous work, four short (combined) violin concertos each dedicated, respectively, to one of the natural seasons, is known as “The Four Seasons.” In Antonio’s day, and until recently, there were, inarguably, four distinct seasons, to which Vivaldi gave mellifluous, and specific recognition, in that inventive and exciting Baroque composition.
Summers had been reliably hot and humid, for which we wore, appropriately, light clothes, Fall, cooler and drier, necessitating warmer dress, cold and snowy Winters required heavy clothes and boots, and Spring, called for lighter, more comfortable wear. The dates indicated on our yearly calendars, informed us of the (approximate) times when the distinct seasons were to arrive and expire.
In recent years, we have experienced unprecedented alteration in the seasonal weather patterns, manifesting no regularity, and little advance predictability. This spring, as an illustrative example, had its dramatic inception with ice and snow, followed by strong cold winds and heavy rain. Past months have demonstrated unpredictable weather events, often at variance with our empirical expectations for the respective season. Accordingly, there is now the practical necessity to dress as dictated by the needs of the particular day, as opposed doing so seasonally; there are, now, functionally no “winter jackets” or “fall” or “spring jackets”; there are only “heavy” And “light jackets.” . Our choice of activities, as well, may depend upon the day’s weather, rather than those in which we were traditionally engaged relative to the season.
We may be inconvenienced with the inconvenient clothing adjustments, but we are especially troubled lest these irregular meteorological shifts, portent future catastrophic planetary events. We are not versed in the discipline of meteorology nor climate studies, but intuit that this phenomenon may be related to the climate changes referred to by our leading scientists. Their published findings warn of the dangerous impact of man’s harmful production of hydrocarbons and other hazardous chemicals, polluting the earth’s atmosphere. We would like to issue a serious public challenge to all “climate deniers,” to furnish a more cogent reason for these unprecedented and unusual meteorological events.
While many Americans may opt to stay calm and await further developments, we can envision the unfortunate Antonio Vivaldi, sitting quite alone, in his heavenly music room, severely dejected, concerning these recent events, most particularly concerning the possibility of downsizing (or heaven forbid) the determined obsolescence, of his beautiful, four-part symphony.