Tears for the Blue Orb

Pay attention next time. Haha. That's a joke. There is no next time. Maybe it isn't news, really, to anyone who's been watching the planet disintegrate. According to Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, climate change is moving at an even quicker pace than had been predicted. Quoted in a recent Washington Post article, he says coal-burning in developing countries plays a major role, and that we're "basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations." I could be wrong, but I have the feeling he isn't referring to a milder, more pleasant climate.

I may be wrong about something else, too. I've often wondered how things might have turned out, climatewise, had we adopted the environmental philosophies of the indigenous Americans. Somehow, I just can't picture them destroying the very source of all life as we know it. That would be insane.



  1. Coincidentally, this evening I've been reading about this very topic:

    "Californians, coming from a culture that has literally paved over nature, no longer fear the sun. On the contrary, they've come to think they enjoy it. Polynesians, on the other hand, have a more realistic view of what the sun is (i.e., nature) and duly avoid it. The Micronesian defecates in the lagoon; the Californian takes pictures of it (the lagoon) and hangs it in his living room. It is na├»ve to believe that people living in greater contact with nature are more harmonious with it, or somehow happier, or experience less stress in life." —Anthony Marais, DELUSIONISM, 2008

    A friend recently shared this thought with me: "Part of the problem is that humans do not respond to change as we used to. Way back in the day, when the temperature would drop we'd move south to make sure the temperature seemed constant. In doing so, we preserved our health and our access to natural resources. Now we stick our heels in the ground and shake our fists at the cold winter. Or the hot summer. That we observe things from a different perspective does not grant us the ability or the right to judge good and bad. Our function as animals is to adapt to changing conditions. To insist on a status quo is not only illogical and egotistical, it is death. (The Vikings in Greenland refused to change their cultural ways when the temperature dropped in the years between 1343 and 1362. They all died.)"

  2. I can't help but think that any culture would eventually get around to industrialzing etc, or being assimilated by another bigger angrier more ambitious culture ...so it all ends up the same...Now i wonder, If the indian hadn't been swamped by us, do you think this land would have been eventually Canada or Mexico?

  3. I think the fundamental delusion isn't so much that contact with nature equals harmony as the expectation that the road goes on forever, and the party never ends. A culture that relies on plastic can't be surprised when the toxic stuff (along with the products and byproducts of its creation) eventually permeates the planet, finding its way into every organism that relies on water for its existence. A culture that uses coal for producing energy and internal combustion for locomotion shouldn't be surprised when breathing becomes difficult. A culture that can't see the trees for the strip malls can't complain when their skin takes on the pallor of the dead fish washing up on their beachfront properties. It remains to be seen how adaptable the human body is to a poisoned planet.

    Industrialized cultures do seem to have a way of assimilating/annihilating all obstacles in their path, but that's true of angry, unindustrialized cultures, too. The common threads of power, greed, and narcissism don't respect geographic boundaries, and have never been contained by them, either. Two countries or a thousand, the problem is the same: I want what I want when I want it, on credit, with no payments until I'm safely in my grave.

    Illogical, egotistical, and deadly indeed.

  4. Anonymous1:27 AM UTC

    I always thought that the people who pollute was some far off idea, and that the trash somehow got there on its own. Or that there were evil people in factories who made it their life purpose to destroy themselves. And everyone else. I was amazed when I began to see the causes of pollution. Things as simple as a mother and her kids, casually and innocently eating outside an eatery... then getting up and walking away, leaving all their trash! Not even noticing what they were doing, not thinking, not paying attention! Why? And not small amounts of trash either: a family's worth. The trash receptacle six inches from their table. People seem to create misery because they are so filled with trash themselves, they cannot even see what they are doing.