I’m looking out the window. A beautiful lush green tree. Perfect blue sky. A smile on my face quickly fades. Is this perfect day despite or because of climate change? Does is matter? Neither have an impact on the fact that climate change exists. The new normal is not normal. It is change. From here on out nothing will be the same. We’ve screwed up. We’re done. Like a human watching a loved-one die of cancer, the hope fading, until the dead die… We have been talking about acid rain, global warming, and the ozone layer since before I was in school. Thirty, forty years. That I’m aware of. It is accepted in the scientific community, that to be able to avert a cataclysmic future, we have to act immediately and decisively. That is unlikely to happen. We are likely doomed.
It was only within the last few years I realized how soon things will change. No. They have changed already. I suppose I mean to the extent they will in the future. My children, and certainly their children, will live in a world different from ours. Millions, if not billions will perish. Mostly from poorer countries I presume. How will the mighty United States of America handle this? With large coastal cities dropping off the map? Will they create huge numbers of nuclear power-plants in the plains? Every property having its own EF-5 Tornado-proof shelters? The largest expenditure on air conditioning and heating? Less time outside? Growing food indoors due to extremes?
Of course, I have no idea how it will be. I hope it isn’t that bad. It may well be worse. Either way – it will continue to get worse. Ad infinitum. Until it wipes humans out. Then no new damage will be done. The Earth may on may not ever recover. I suppose it won’t. Does it really matter at that point? The scabs, the users of her resources, the selfish, the ignorant… They will no longer exist. If no one is there to watch her die, does it matter?
I like to think of the Earth, Gaia, as a beautiful being. A voluptuous mid-skin toned Goddess. Donning a short, flowing soil-colored skirt. Long wavy hair falling over her breasts. She is my mental personification of the Earth. The physical planet I see from space. Lush lands, clear blue waters, wispy white clouds. A beautiful sight. Belying the damage. The ruined, obliterated, splintered home. That we inherited, and decided we didn’t care enough to pass it on. The only life-sustaining place we had.
I see clouds in the beautiful blue sky beside the luscious green tree. Both real and metaphorical. I no longer smile.