With the utter plight of our natural world I find it hard to believe the human species can overcome the horrors it has created. I've been pessimistic for nearly my entire life or at least when my brother was murdered, after that, the meaning of life changed for me. 15 years of pessimism ingrained into the psyche. Now, with the birth of my son Iley I have begun to see things in a much more positive light, then again, I sometimes revert back into the "negative" that has encompassed my life for so long.
Problems, oh we've got em' And I'm not talking about the "Damn, I forgot to pay the bills" problems. I'm talking about the complete destruction of the natural world. When I say "Natural world" I refer to the mountains, the ocean, the wetlands, everything, that for the most part is taken for granted. Everything is connected, we have become a virus infecting the Earth. As our own health goes so does the planet, a cancer slowing killing off species after species. And for what?
A growing economy, economic growth, greed, how ever you want to frame it. Our society is built on growth, we take what we want from the planet and throw away what we become bored with. The natural world is nothing more than a resource that can be bought, sold, traded and destroyed. We take so much for granted, for instance the price it would cost us to do what nature does for free, somewhere around 78 trillion dollars to pollinate our crops, purify the water, decompose the waste, etc. Unfortunately the total gross income of our world hovers somewhere near 34 trillion dollars. Basically, it can't be done. In my opinion you can't put a price on nature in the first place, but some people have to see everything in a dollar amount for it to really hit home.
When thinking of the overall task involved in actually saving our environment from its complete shut down, I feel overwhelmed. All ecosystems are in decline, our oceans, could, at the slightest increase in temperature become stagnant. 90% of all of the oceans big fish are now gone, high levels of heavy metals(including mercury, yeah thats a bad one.) are being found in the fish that we eat. Amphibians, who absorbed pollution through there skin are going extinct, 1/3 of all of our favorite little frogs, salamanders and newts are gone forever. Deforestation is having incredible effects on all of our planet, deserts are growing in size, precious oxygen, that would have replaced C02, is instead building in our atmosphere. Agriculture, the food we eat is being genetically modified, the pesticides are polluting the rivers which in turn run to the ocean and create dead zones which nothing can survive, our water we drink is becoming polluted as well.
Like I said before, the task seems overwhelming to say the least. And the saddest part is, I'm just scratching the surface. The climate crisis is real, the shift is happening and we are speeding up the process. A process that would naturally take thousands of years is about to happen in less than four. Grab your boogie board. Maybe we all will live in a yellow submarine after all.
Our economy is build on growth, wealth, money, material items, possessions. And in pursuit of all of these wonderful things, we have forgotten(or never known)how to live in balance with the natural world. Almost every structure that humans have created goes against the form of nature. We pour concrete and create giant skyscrapers that do nothing more than house the colony, suck up energy, pollute, and give nothing back to our planet.
There are plenty of things we as individuals can do to reduce our impact on our precious mother Earth. Getting everyone on board is the hard part. This can't be a few hippies out in the woods living on roots at berries, If we want to live on a planet with finite resources and with 9 billion of us on the horizon, then we are going to have to drastically change our lives, and I mean now.
To be perfectly honest, its probably too late to make an impact for our immediate future. We know, that in the next few years the temperature is going to rise, even at the slightest this means our polar ice caps will be in grave danger. The water will rise and with it, the loss of lives, millions displaced or turned into refugees in there own homeland.
And for what? I continue to ask this question. And I continue to come back to one major factor in the whole sha-bang. Oil. Without oil we wouldn't be able to import all of those toxic toys and poison our children. Without oil we wouldn't be able to drive around town in our escalade sittin' on dub 6's getting 8 miles to the gallon. Without oil our food would not arrive to our local super markets, so thus the majority of our population would not be able to eat and would starve. Without oil we couldn't even make the machine, that makes the junk for us to consume. Oil controls our life and for the most part we are starting to get it but sometimes I don't believe we will truly "get it" until gas cost 8 dollars a gallon and we can no longer afford to work, buy food, or pay our mortgage. Our economy would literally collapse.
For years our corrupt government has known this, so for years they have been planning on ways to acquire more oil kingdoms for the American consumer to devour. The war and what is now an occupation of Iraq is nothing more than a hostile take over of the "sweet crude" that lies underneath this once fertile land. We kill for oil and in this regard, we've all got blood on our hands. 12 billion dollars a month is spent fighting for oil, defend oil, whatever you must. We, as tax payers owe various other country's roughly $30,000 dollars per household for this war. Are you willing to write a check today? Me neither. This takes into consideration the veterans benefits when they return, reconstruction, the bombs, you know, war stuff, we've been through it before, before I was born, and before that and so on.
We've been trained to consume, thirty years of a bombardment of advertisements, playing on our primary, very primal senses. They have mastered the technique and we fall victim to it daily. This state of mind creates a disconnect from the natural world. Our daily lives and routines have become comfortable yet stressful, having to move fast to keep up with all of our wants. Significant change is on the horizon, I would suggest that all of us work together to create this new way of life, ingrain it into future generations like consumerism was ingrained in mine. If we don't snap out of it and become more frugal in our ways, there will be no turning back. Its going to be hard enough as is, fighting our way through political roadblocks and dealing with a changing climate. Simply put, we are all in this together.