Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mother Earth Calls

This used to be the time in DC when spring was in full bloom.  Now, it appears, we’ve entered the season of summer - and no time too soon.  Ninety degree temperatures have arrived and just in time for the People’s Climate March.   Apparently, when the Good Lord heard that a march was planned to protest global warming, He decided to warm up this part of the globe with record-breaking temperatures.   It’s great to know that God has a sense of humor.

I was at the March for Science last week; today, I’ll be at the Climate March.  My thinking is that if I’m lucky enough to make it to the year 2050, when the death toll from Climate Change is likely to increase by a few digits, I don’t want to think of myself as having been a passive bystander to all this destruction.  I want to know that, at the very least, I took to the streets and screamed, “This is no way to treat our Mother!”

Seriously, the next time some politician or business tycoon says “We support the environment, BUT ....” just remember – when it comes to loving your mother, there is no “but.”  

Mother Earth will surely survive human recklessness.  We can wound her, but we’re not nearly powerful enough to kill her.  What we can do is kill her creatures.  Today, we’re killing the coral.  Tomorrow, we’ll be killing each other – unintentionally, but just as surely.  Climate change will create famines, bring deadly storms, and wreak havoc on the economies least able to tolerate it.   Sadly, everyone can thank the affluent among us, and that includes the so-called “upper middle class” Americans who refuse to think of ourselves as affluent.  We’re the ones who guzzle carbon like it’s flowing from Heaven. 

So, march we must. 

I honestly don’t know much about the folks who are organizing this event.  I don’t know if they will spend the entire time hurling bile that will serve only to further polarize this country.   I may indeed spend half of the time at this event shaking my head about how a march that should be a call to love (our Mother) will turn instead into a call to hate. 

But frankly, I don’t need to know who is organizing this event.  If there is a march against Climate Change, I’m coming.

Lest anyone think that fighting Climate Change is a partisan issue, just think back a few years.  How much did Barack Obama mention Climate Change in his 2012 Democratic Convention address?   If memory serves, he didn’t.  This has always been a minor issue for the Democrats – little more than an opportunity for a bit of targeted pandering.   Precious few of our mainstream politicians have behaved like this issue hits them down to their bones.   That’s because we haven’t reached 2050 yet.  People aren’t dying by the millions or tens of millions.  Yet.   That’s why it feels like a sideshow.   Boy are we short-sighted.

Next week, the Empathic Rationalist will take a week off.  I’ll be at Princeton attending a weekend long conference about Spinoza’s philosophy.  In other words, I’ll be in my element, geeking out on the esoterica of Spinoza’s Ethics and Theological-Political Treatise, both of which I’ve studied in depth.  By contrast, today (like last Saturday), I’ll surely be hearing about the work of scientists who’ve been studying disciplines that I hardly understand.  To a degree, I’ll have to take what they’re saying on faith.  And still ... with each passing year, it becomes more and more obvious that these scientists are on to something.

Our climate is changing.  We can feel it.  Winters aren’t terribly cold any more.  And even the spring is beginning to feel like summer. You don’t have to be a polar bear to notice the difference.  You just have to be willing to put propaganda aside, open your eyes, and take in the magnitude of what’s happening.

If you love your Mother and you’re in a city with a march, please join us.  And bring lots of water.   It’s easy to get dehydrated when you’re out in the hot summer sun.   

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