Let me preface this essay by first stating that I am not an authority on global climate change, nor do I claim to have any formal education on this subject. I am not a professional journalist nor do I have any “credentials” that would somehow bolster any arguments that I am about to present. I write only from the heart and from what I have observed growing up in this world over the past fifty plus years.
The subject of “global warming” has become a hot topic for discussion in the “media” and in
recent political debates. I see it in the news, on the web, and in advertising for so-called “green” products and businesses. We are told to recycle, to conserve energy, to be conscious of our “carbon footprint”,etc. We are beginning to see a change in the consciousness of consumers. People are starting to think about their impact on the environment. This is a good thing, but is it not a bit too little and too late?
I do not believe that “we”,(as in the human species) can reverse the course that we have set for our planet. The “ice shelf” is melting at an alarming rate and habitats are disappearing just as quickly. We are entirely responsible for the extinction of many species on this planet, because of our greed, ignorance, and hubris. In our arrogance we have sought dominion over “nature” through our ability to manipulate the environment with “science”. Mankind has eliminated whole ecosystems in order to “make life a little easier”. We have expanded our “civilizations” without thought or empathy for the other creatures that we ultimately depend on. There is no ecosystem on Earth that we have not affected or infected in some way. What remains to be seen is what will ultimately happen to this planet.
The only recourse we have is to first, take responsibility for our actions. This is one of the essential principles my father used to teach me in my youth. I was taught to tell the truth, treat others with respect and above all step up and “take it like a man”. If I screwed up I had to make things right. But how can we “make thing right” when there are so many of “us”.
It starts with me and it starts with you,and you,and YOU.
The one thing most of humanity possesses besides a brain, is the ability to reproduce. In most cases the decision to have children is not always a conscious one. Too many children are brought into this world without a full consideration of the consequences. In other words,how often do people truly and thoroughly consider whether they are prepared to raise, nurture, educate, and guide their off-spring to adulthood?
If we are so superior to the rest of the species on this planet, why do we have so many problems? Decades ago, over-population in China got so bad that they realized if they didn’t do something immediately to curb population growth, massive hunger and famine would be the result. So they implemented laws that put limits on how many children women could give birth to. In this country, abortion has become a very hot and divisive subject. Can you imagine what would happen if suddenly abortion was mandatory?
Yet, I submit that if we do not include reproduction in our conversations about the environment and how to fix it, we will have missed the fundamental “cause” of the damage that we have brought about on our fragile planet. Yes, we each have our own “carbon footprint”, that is a given and is unavoidable. The problem is that there are just too many “footprints”.