A car has stalled at a train crossing. It straddles the track like some tired movie clichÃ?Â©. You are the unfortunate passenger in the backseat . You look out your window and see the train steaming down the track toward the crossing and more importantly towards you! You start to tremble and sweat as all your options race through your mind at once. It appears the driver is oblivious to the danger. You shout to warn him! How can he just sit there? Doesn’t he believe you? You know he can hear you, but still he just sits there!You reach for the door, but it won’t open! You try another with the same result! Desperate, you try to scramble to the front of the vehicle, but the driver halts your advance! You are trapped!
Entering the local eating establishment, I sop to extinguish my cigarette. Before I can complete my mission, I notice a mother and her children approaching the door. I instinctively grab the door and hold it open for the domestic caravan. My gesture, gallant as it may be, is not met with gratitude but with disdain. I endure what seems to be an almost endless lecture on the dangers of smoking. This woman rants about how years from now my health will suffer. How, due to my increasing medical needs, I will become a drain on both society and the economy. How the second hand smoke from my cigarette threatens not only my health but the health of everyone around me. She finally finishes with a few words that I wouldn’t use in public, much less in front of children. Then she packs her children into her gas hog of an S.U.V. and drives off , gunning the engine as she barrels out of the parking lot and into traffic.
The history of civilization has been recorded by either conquering or surviving cultures. Much of what we consider “known” history is skewed by the viewpoint of the historian. We know so little of our past because of the simple fact that whole civilizations were eradicated Who knows how far Spanish civilization would have advanced if they had only quested for Incan and Aztec knowledge instead of their gold. European conquerors only scratched the surface of the native Americans’ knowledge before they set about wiping out all but minuscule remnants of their civilizations. Some civilizations rose to great heights only to be washed away by nature. All their knowledge and advancements lost to mankind. Now we can only speculate about what they understood.
Mankind is approaching another such natural cleansing. This is not speculation, but proven scientific fact. The polar ice will melt. The oceans and seas will rise. The currents that control our climates will shift and fail. The planet will be cleansed by a new ice age. Scientists have projected that in ten years time the planet will reach the point of no return. So why has this news been largely ignored by the world’s population? I believe the answer is the human trend toward complacency. We, the human race, tend to act only to escape discomfort. History tends to place a heroic spin on this fact, but it is a fact. I’ll give you a few brief examples.
History states the pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom, but the fact is they came to escape the discomfort of religious persecution.
History states that Columbus sailed the Atlantic to prove the world was round, but the fact is he sailed west trying to find a shorter route to India to escape the discomfort of the long and dangerous trade routes in use at that time.
Maybe humanity is still to comfortable to act. Sadly, by the time we are sufficiently uncomfortable it will probably be to late. How much of our civilization do you suppose future peoples will know about, if there are future peoples at all? Science has provided us with the knowledge and skills to escape this disaster. We would suffer some minor discomforts, but we would survive and continue to move forward. Most of the discomfort would be financial. Perhaps that is why we hide our heads in the sand. How much will our money be worth after the collapse of our civilization?
The burning of fossil fuels Global Warming is the major contributor to the impending demise of our civilization. For those that disagree, I suggest you sit in your car in a closed garage with the engine running. Our atmosphere is a closed garage with limited cleaning capabilities. If you doubt this, look at the correlation between fossil fuel emissions and the increasing rate of breathing disorders and Global Warming.
Another large component of Global Warming is our wasteful consumption of certain non-renewable resources. We clear cut entire forests, an essential part of the Earth’s cleansing apparatus. We wipe out entire species of plants and animals without regard to the impact. We search space for signs of water on other planets because signs shows that water is the key ingredient needed for life. All the while we are polluting the waters our lives depend on and causing Global Warming. Occasionally you will hear the terms; green architecture, green energy, and green living. People view these as new, radical ideas but the native peoples of the Americas were practicing them centuries ago. I am not suggesting that we revert to the native American’s level of civilization. Only that we come to the realization they did. That we have a symbiotic relationship with the planet we live on and all of its resources. If we kill our planet, we will die with it!
It is time to start feeling uncomfortable! It is time for us to have leaders who don’t have their heads in the sand. We need leaders who can look farther down the road than the next four years. We need to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable. I have three children and a fourth on the way. What kind of world are they going to inherit? What kind of legacy are we going to leave all of our children? It is time for us to make a difference! It is time for us to realize we have to make a change! I’m very uncomfortable and you should all be too! We need to let our current leaders and all those who would wish to be our leaders know that they should be uncomfortable also. I wouldn’t want a mechanic to perform a bypass on me and I don’t need my politicians to pretend they know more about science than the experts! If choosing their top concerns, most Americans say the economy or foreign affairs. Well I say neither are worth anything if all the advancements of human civilization disappear because of our short-sightedness!
I don’t expect to change anything, and I don’t expect anything will change. I’m just tired of sitting in the backseat watching the train coming at me! I’m only ranting like a self-righteous, hypocritical soccer Mom! If nobody is listening to the experts then why would they listen to me? Just remember, the next time you hold your children close, that they might not have the opportunity to hold children of their own! And please forward this to everyone you can. Maybe if enough people think about it, we can get something done. Write your representatives and let them know how uncomfortable you are.