Everyone knows the story of Noah’s Ark. When flood threatened mankind, God appointed Noah as his steward. Noah was instructed to build a place of refuge and gather together two of each species (male and female) in order to prevent their extinction. What does that have to do with recyling?
Well, today high energy demands and commercial development are driving us to cut down our rain forests, pollute our waterways, encroach upon our wetlands and destroy our coral reefs. We pave over fertile farmland to build shopping malls while people go hungry. Mountain tops are blown off in order to mine the ore; leaving the landscape barren. Toxic wastes are buried in the ground to poison our water supply. Mankind is changing the very climate of the Earth with our CO2 emissions.
Like Noah, we have to act quickly to save ourselves. The only problem is that this time WE are the flood!
Humans are part of Earth’s complex web of life. We evolved here along with all the other animals and plants. We were tailored to fit upon this Earth. It made us what we are. Everything here is connected in ways we don’t even fully understand. If we don’t take care of our home, what will become of us? And what will that say about us?
The stewardship of the Earth is our responsibility. Perhaps, like Noah, we need to be given a set of instructions to follow. Author Thomas L. Friedman gives us a formula in his book Hot, flat and crowded: Why we need a green revolution-and how it can renew America. It is this:
Deciphered below it simply means:
“A Renewable Energy Ecosystem, For Innovating, Generating and Deploying Clean Power, Energy Efficiency, Resource Productivity and Conservation LESS The True Cost Of Burning Coal, Oil and Gas.”
The true cost of fossil fuels is not just what we see at the pump! The cost for using them also includes the pollution they generate, assessing the climate changes they cause, and the energy wars they bring about.
Many recent extinctions are clearly related to human activities which change or damage habitats. Although death is unavoidable and (I suppose) that all species will die eventually; I just hope that when it’s mankind’s turn to go, it’s not because we were stupid.
Back in 1972, there was a science fiction film called “Silent Running” that made a big impression on me. Set in a dreary future where all plant life on Earth is dying, specimens have been preserved on a giant, floating greenhouse in outer space manned by astronauts. When the crew gets orders from Earth to destroy the greenhouse and return home, Bruce Dern (father of Laura Dern who starred in Jurassic Park – another story involving extinct species) goes nuts and kills the other crew members and hijacks the ship, thereby saving Earth’s plants for posterity.
I’m hoping that we will never have a need for this type of modern-day Noah.
The only way to change our “race toward destruction” is for the world’s governments to work together to set in place policies that draw the lines that are needed. We have to protect certain areas of the Earth from exploitation. We have to provide economic opportunities for people to keep them from harming the environment. We have to have investors for long-term projects to discover and promote alternatives to the destructive ways we currently operate. We have to have good local governments to enforce these changes. We have to educate people to act in their own best interests.
Some say that worrying about your mortality is a sign that you are insecure about your life’s value and worth.
That may be true. Then again, living in denial doesn’t change the truth either.