So let me step back. The Earth, our beautiful blue and green living planet, will continue to be when we are gone, just as she was before we came. In fact, she probably is shutting down or simplifying her life-giving forests, savannahs, estuaries and oceans to get us to launch and shrug us off a little faster; a pesky, self-important and self-righteous species that literally eats her alive. Boy, is she getting tired of us and our prayers for a rain here while we are obliterating trees and clouds over there. In my lonely chronic hurt, am I yet another well-meaning but self-deluded, affluent American, who thinks that he may stem the inevitable with a teaspoon?
Save the planet?! What a stupid and arrogant thing to say! How about this: "Please, please, God, let the planet save us, and we promise to get out of her way." Of course, as a species, we are organically incapable of saying this simple prayer and following up on it.
|The New Yorker Cartoon Collection|
Where I write these words, everyone - even the poorest - has benefited from the global capitalism and everyone uses the multitudinous fruits of its technology. So why should we change? Only because we may be committing suicide in slow-motion? Or because millions of others are suffering and dying for our comfort?
Sorry, no time to answer these questions. I'm off in my Prius to a farmer's market 12 miles away. I positively need to pick up some locally grown produce and a fair-trade cappuccino. It's my time to relax. So why do I need to see that guy in a beat-up truck who's smoking a cigarette and drinking coke? What an environmentally insensitive slob! And he also looks so tired and unhealthy. Maybe he lost his job? Oh, who cares anyway? What a nice cappuccino...time to relax...
|A 6-mile wide lake of absolutely deadly toxic waste left near Baotou, China, after refining and smelting the rare earth metals we use in our Priuses and in wind turbines. But I love my Prius and the renewable electricity I get. Did I mention that plenty of soil there is also poisoned, as well as groundwater and one of the major waterways in China? In short, people die far away so that I can boast my environmental credentials and drive a Prius.|
P.S. I hope that Milan Kundera would agree with my assessment. Please read his masterpiece, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being."
P.S.P.S. For the record, I actually do not own a Prius but drive a small, diesel engine-powered Volkswagen Jetta Sportwagen TDI. And I do not drive 24 miles to get a stupid cappuccino. Every day, I do see, however, the poor and the dispossessed, even in the affluent booming Austin, TX.