Friday, December 30, 2016

Opinions #10: Don't Underestimate Mother Earth

I suppose this could be breaking the rules, because climate "science" has become a political football.  But I don't believe Mother Earth trucks much with human politics.  She is strong, and steadfast, and powerful far beyond our poor comprehension of power.   

We want to think we know about the Earth and how it came about and what has been going on with it since its creation.  Seriously?  If the earth were a year old, human beings would have showed up in the last half hour before midnight on New Year's Eve.  And yet, we know everything there is to know about the 364 days, 23 3/4 hours of Earth's science before we came along?  I don't think so.

In our short, fifteen-minute history of human civilization, our curiosity has grown and we've learned a lot.  And, no doubt, some of it is good information.  We can be very thorough and studious when we try.  Tenacious, even.  Driven.  We want to know.  And we're going to find out. 

We want to know so badly that even if we don't have all the information, we demand that we do.  And then we set it up so no one can argue with us.  Flat earth.  Around which the sun, moon, and all the heavenly bodies revolve.  Torture, persecution, hellfire and damnation to anyone who didn't line up behind the written in stone incontrovertible facts.  Until...they weren't.

So now, with this illustrious history of accurate, spot on science bolstering our declarations, we've concluded that the Earth is dying, and man is responsible for killing it.  I'm sorry.  I just think that's a bit of a stretch.

What I can't get on board with is the shrillness.  The hyperbole.  Neither the deniers nor the know-it-all doomsayers are in any position to make the kinds of proclamations they do.  And the energy that could and should be spent on the research to get closer to what the answer actually is, is being squandered on the constant soapbox grandstanding on both sides of the issue. 

It's not that I'm a climate change denier.  I'm fully aware that there is damage, terrible damage, caused by human industry, run by powerful men without soul or conscience.  Men who consider the forfeited lives of other human beings acceptable collateral damage to their accumulation of wealth; if they have no empathy for their own kind, they certainly can have no consideration for the life of the Earth herself.

But it seems to me that only humans would be ballsy enough to claim that we possess the power to do real damage to our celestial home.  We honestly buy we have the capacity to end the Earth, yet we are swept before her power like dust in the wind.   There's just...a disconnect there, for me.  I'm not saying that we aren't doing damage to our beautiful mother...I'm saying I believe she has a capacity to right and heal herself that we have not even considered.  The argument is everything.  One side denies science altogether if it suggests a frightening scenario we choose not to concern ourselves with, and  the other side points science only in the direction of a point it's trying to make.  We postulate with an agenda in mind.  Anything that doesn't further that agenda falls away, unobserved. And the character of the Earth herself is completely peripheral to our argument. 

I'm no scientist...but I am an observer.  I've been wandering around this planet for sixty years, and I do a pretty decent job of paying attention to what's going on. And what I see is the Earth healing herself in small and large ways.  Storms come, volcanoes roar, rains batter, and land turns from sea to desert to sea again.  Animals from whom we believed we had won territory, vanquished them from "our" lands, never to return, are coming back.  Predators roam suburban streets.  Game birds adapt to our artificial waterways and thrive. Soon, perhaps the sky will darken once again with great flocks of "Columbidae", as the European collared dove becomes fruitful and multiplies in this perfect habitat left ripe for the settling by man's slaughter of American passenger pigeons 100 years ago.  We damage and rearrange, and the Earth counters.

And, who knows...maybe her ultimate act of healing herself will involve removing from her surface the pestilence that is the human race.  The urgency surrounding climate change might not be about saving the earth.  It's really about saving our own asses.  It's entirely possible our Mother is revving up to shake us off once and for all, because we've plunged a knife into her breast one too many times.

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