Happy Earth Day!

Image of the aurora borealis taken from space

Although this would be the day for it, Hecate is a lot better at the poetical writing than I am, so I’ll stick to “just the facts, ma’am!”

With regards to the climate crisis, we find ourselves in the Nero fiddling while Rome burns situation. Other than the willfully obtuse and people who have a significant financial interest in pretending otherwise, we all know that climate change is a clear and present danger. Not to the Earth, mind you. She’ll continue on just fine, as She has for billions of years. And species will continue go extinct, with others arising to take advantage of the spaces their absence provides. Our species, humans, may be next. That’s the clear and present danger.

Meanwhile, we’re all encouraged to engage in individual action (Buy an electric car! Recycle! Compost! Join a CSA! Eat less meat! Install solar panels or a green roof! Resist fast fashion!) to try to fix what is a systemic problem. Not that those things are bad – you should, if you have the capacity, do all those things and more. But they are akin to rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg.

So what will finally wake us, as a community, as a nation, as a planet, out of our torpor?

Greta Thunberg and her cadre of young activists with their climate strikes are trying.

Folks like the people who protested at Standing Rock and against the Keystone XL pipeline are trying.

Climate scientists are trying.

Novelists are trying.

I recently read The Ministry of the Future, one of President Obama’s top books of 2020. It’s about the climate crisis and the near future that’s almost upon us, and how we might, as a community, as a nation, as a planet, be able to claw our way back out.

It doesn’t happen without significant disaster and loss and sacrifice and even a little highly targeted terrorism. But it’s ultimately a hopeful book. And EVERY SINGLE POTENTIAL SOLUTION THAT IS TRIED ACTUALLY EXISTS, although perhaps in a more nascent form. There’s no miracle – technological or otherwise – that swoops in to save us. Scientists and government officials and activists and every day people work with what we already have, what we already know, to make the deep changes that are necessary to turn things around and preserve the ability of humans to continue to exist on this planet.

I’m not going to say any more, because you really should check it out and I don’t want to spoil it in case you do.

But the larger point is: All is not lost. And in fact, behaving as if it is, much like for the midterm elections, is seriously counter-productive, as excessive doom & gloom doesn’t, in fact, spur people to action. Quite the opposite. It results in apathy, as what’s the point of trying to do anything or fix anything if the worst possible outcome is a certainty regardless?

So that’s my message for you this Earth Day. The situation is serious, dire in fact, but persevere in hope. It’s the only way anyone has ever accomplished anything meaningful.

Image from NASA.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.

One response to “Happy Earth Day!

  1. Well I used to think that the Earth will go on without us and be fine but scientists have calculated that in about 500 millions years only microbes will be left on this planet and in several billion years the Sun will die out after becoming a red giant and swallowing the Earth and then this place won’t exist anymore. My son gave me a book that laid it all out called The Life and Death of Planet Earth. pretty compelling. It states that the most prolific time period for the Earth was about 300 million years ago and we have been in a slow steady decline since that time. argh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s