I taught a class on the environment not too many years ago. The one thing that work taught me was that this is a great big world with an uncanny affinity for taking care of itself. Things that can’t adjust to the changing world disappear. We have ample evidence of this cycle going back as far as we can imagine, or dig, or dive, or see.
But on the other side, we live on a very small world in a universe that is unbelievably huge and getting “huger” with every new discovery. If you haven’t seen the short film made from the Hubble space telescope’s week long exposures of empty space, you are missing something. Just search Hubble Deep Field.
It’s no wonder politicians are so confused and change opinions every 6 months. Some learned folk say that 96% of the greenhouse gases are caused by the oceans’ water vapor. Others say industrial and automobile pollution is a major factor in global warming. Cries go out that the loss of rainforests will the death of us all. And still others plot the earth’s temperatures as a “normal” cycle of things dating back 1000s of years.
I read an article on line last week about the theft of industrial secrets. They described the current state of affairs as not severing an artery, but death by a thousand cuts. It was ominous to say the least. Perhaps that is the best way to describe our environmental state. We have thousands of issues worldwide which affect the environment. Perhaps none on their own are major, but collectively they add up. To avoid death by a thousand cuts, we need to tackle each, one at a time. By doing this, we are accomplishing all we can to conserve our planet. We sure can’t do anything about the ocean’s water vapor, but we can stop using Brazilian rosewood and African ivory.
The earth will recover. As long as the sun shines and there is rain, life will go on. All the history we can uncover proves that. We just can’t cut down all the trees to build houses only to have the land underneath us erode into the sea.
Go Army – Beat Navy.
Gene Canavan is a retired West Point Graduate and Paper Mill Utilities Manager and lives in Prattville, Alabama, USA