She's all we have in this universe, our only home, and our only shelter. She's everything to us, and gripping her tightly we bob along together.
She's our little lifeboat.
But she's still only a pale blue dot. A tiny speck in a terribly, incalculably vast ocean.
In real terms she remains only a lifeboat.
She carries a finite amount of nearly all essential resources, and the protected environment she provides is a closed system; any upset can have ubiquitously devastating consequences throughout the system. If it's disrupted beyond a certain point that's IT for us. Adios mi amigos. No more human race. Some few may survive, possibly even a great many. Enough to fill a football stadium, or a national mall, or a generation ship, headed for Alpha Centauri. Tough break for the rest of us. Therefore our responsible management of those resources, and of ourselves, and of our lifeboat, are severally of paramount importance. This is the open ocean, help is at the very least light-years away. Indeed; save for magic, a miracle, or a lucky break of Vulcan proportions there can be no help from outside.
So we're going to have to finally start helping ourselves. Our situation is dire, despite the fact that our Earth is amazingly bountiful for a vessel of her type. Life is rarely easy on board a lifeboat, and ours is no exception.
Yet for our current straits we have only ourselves to blame.
More below the fold.
We are adrift in the howling dark, without succour and utterly alone except for each other, and our pets, of course.
At long last we've begun to truly understand this vessel and its many interwoven systems, and even a bit about the unthinkably hostile sea beyond. We've come to realize how precarious our perch upon her really is, how utterly indispensable she is to the survival of our species at our present state, and how important it is for us, as a lifeboat-striding culture, to both keep our footprints to a minimum and repair any damage we've already done.
What that means to the residents of a lifeboat, when you get right down to it, is PROTECT THE LIFEBOAT OR DIE.
I think I saw that written in a manual somewhere.
One would think that if our lifeboat's integrity were merely called into doubt, that doubt would take precedence over most everything else, let alone if there was consensus that it was poor and/or near failure.
That is exactly what we're seeing right now.
Our earth is in jeopardy, and we humans are directly responsible. We're still getting a handle on the extent of the problem, but there are people among us who have dedicated their lives to that very thing. Chemists, biologists, physicists, meteorologists, climatologists, and many many more, from around the globe and in many countries and tongues, have been doing tireless work not only finding out the extent of the damage, but also researching and consulting in turn with engineers, architects and builders to discover methods and means with which to nullify that damage and restore our lifeboat before it's too late. Their toil has been yielding measurable and actionable results for decades.
By their standards, that is, the scientific consensus of the human race, we are in big trouble; trouble we ourselves have caused and still have a chance to reverse. But the clock IS ticking.
However, there is the incessantly pesky matter of ourselves. Standing squarely in the way of the self-help we so desperately need.
We have long had a nasty habit: acquisition and accumulation of power and money at the expense of everything and everybody else. In many circles such habits, and those who practice them, are referred to as "industrious" and "hard-working" and "go-getters." Far too many of those of us at the top levels of our leadership, even now in these "enlightened" days, revere them as though they were the most virtuous of works; as though wanton use and abuse of our earth and our neighbors are somehow to be admired, even exalted.
Most of these self-identify as "conservative."
And where the scientific community sees total disaster, these "conservatives" see nothing but profits. Or rather the ohsoterrifying boogieman known as A Threat To Profits.
Because the preservation and maintenance of our earth, you know, that thing that allows you to live and breathe in relative comfort in a universe that would destroy you in seconds otherwise, is not worth a little consideration? Maybe a little risk management?
Because the potential fall of civilization doesn't constitute a threat to profits to you?
These greed-drunk fools should be ashamed to call themselves conservative. Just what on earth do they think they're conserving?
Nothing, that's what. Nothing at all but their own continued and unimpeded free-for-all. The worst part is that there are no illusions for them anymore. They're well aware of what they are doing, they must be.
Go along to get along, but only for me. Everything else; you, your pets and the lifeboat, can all go to hell.That is their mantra. Their suicide pact.
They would tempt the extinction of their own species, and see the extinction of countless others and our planet an utter ruin, rather than see a loss on the next quarterly report.
They would scuttle the lifeboat and kill everyone aboard rather than give up even a morsel of their treasure.