If we do not permit the earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food, either. Joseph Wood Krutch

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why, mommy, why?

Some feel that the world is doomed and there is no reason to try and live differently. Others believe we can do whatever we want and the earth will just take care of itself-it always has and it always will. I agree with both sides.

Perhaps it sounds as if I am at odds with myself but really I am not. I do believe the earth is rather doomed because, in order to save it, the global population will have to end it's headlong rush to disaster. The odds of that happening are nearly zilch. But on the other hand, as I have said before, nature has a way of taking care of these things. It's called natural disaster, famine, disease, resource shortages...I probably don't need to go on.

There is no doubt in my mind that as we pull at the earth's resources and go against nature, more than at any time in history, we are going to run out of resources and upset completely the natural balance...eventually. I don't know if that will be in my lifetime or not.

We have manipulated our crops to hybrid them and made them ultimately unstable and non-resistant to mutated diseases. One only need to look back in history to know that crops often fail on a massive scale. We have weakened the human immune system through overuse of antibiotics and by trying to protect ourselves have just made some fairly tame bugs into superbugs that can't be killed. We are pumping the aquifers dry at an alarming rate to grow grain for cattle and now cars. What do we do when they have run out? It is practically an endless list of no-no's we are perpetrating as a species on the earth. We consume resources simply to consume. No finger pointing here. Go back a few days in my blog you'll see that I am a guilty man.

It is only a matter of time before there will be wars over water, oil, minerals and the like as the limited resources become scarce. As the aquifers dry up there will be less food and more famine. The green places will desertify and become less habitable. This will bring about great shifts in the population and wars between nations and people will again result. Diseases will appear that will wipe out huge numbers of people in the form of plagues. Again, I could go on with quite a list but the point is, there is nothing I can personally do to stop it on a global scale.

However, every day on the freeway there are accidents. It is inevitable that people will get hurt and die. Can I stop it? No. I have no control over how people drive. Many people get in their cars and tune out the fact that there are living, breathing people surrounding them. They just want to get where they are going...as fast as they can get there...and disobey the rules of safety. And so...we have lots of accidents on the freeways.

I can change me. If I obey the rules of the road, drive defensively, act courteous and limit the number of miles I drive I limit my exposure to harm. Perhaps even save a life. But most of all I help to solve the problem in my own very small way. Do I change the fact that people die on the freeway? No! People are still going to die but my actions still make a difference, even if it is in a very small way. And that is why I try to act responsibly now in what I consume. I can make a difference to me, I can be pleased that I have acted responsibly. Even if it is in just one very small way for me and my neighbors on this big blue marble.

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