The written word about climate change seems to be moving in a definable direction – that the presence of human life on Planet Earth is worth retaining into a long distant future.  After several centuries of peering into the skies, we recognize that this planet occupies a miniscule amount of space. We know of no other collection of such beings across an infinite universe.

An examination of the wondrous inventions, the incredible mountain of written text, the glorious music, poetry, dance and visual arts, leaves an observer truly thunderstruck. What a legacy humankind hands on generation after generation. What a loss extinction would represent!

Yet the lack of any capacity to cooperate planet-wide to save that from happening seems to be the nature of the present situation!

It is quite apparent that the various stages of the industrial revolution wreaked havoc on the quality of the air we breathe and the water we drink. We have done nothing to halt the deterioration of the planet’s oceans. We have been indifferent to the reality of climate warming.

Our indifference has not been from a lack of warning. Friends as well as scientists have been to the Arctic and brought back tales of the melting of the ice – ice on which animals depend for their habitat.  This morning the CBC News carried a report that a considerable percentage of Great Lakes ice cover will not return. How much closer does the evidence of global warming have to be?

It appears we live in collective denial. There are those who look to our scientists for breakthroughs that would banish all this unpleasant reflection on our future. Yet it is those environmental experts who are the loudest in warning us that this is not a sane expectation.

There are those who look to a benevolent Divine who will intervene. Yet one could say that the wisdom of the Divine in giving humankind intelligence, creativity, imagination and courage, energy and determination was surely the ultimate intervention we have any right to expect from a Creator.

That Creator gave humankind free will as well.  But humankind is flawed, or sinful, and cannot rise above human characteristics, the fact of selfishness and greed. And we must concede that there are many who have achieved enormous wealth within the parameters of the status quo, climate change and all!

A great drama is at hand. Human integrity and compassion and intelligence will be challenged as never before. We will all be on stage!

Walter Pitman


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2 thoughts on “Extinction???”

  1. I recommend three authors engaged in this issue: Bruce Sanguin, Al Gore and James Lovelock. The most pessimistic is Lovelock, an independent British GAIA scientist. He argues that it’s time to develop “lifeboats of viability” for survival from the impending Global Drought/frying pan. Gore argues for many forms of action on sustainability, while noting the many impediments to such action. Sanguin told me today that this deepening crisis will bring out the “new human.” I guess people are so confused that they’ll wait until forced into action.

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