Are we living in a fool’s paradise?
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!” Puck, Midsummer Night’s Dream
Do we really understand that we human beings and the material world are not separate? We are all wrapped up together in this wonderful creation!
Yet, we see tidal waves flood coastal land masses, and thousands of families are homeless. Earthquakes damage nuclear power plants, and release radioactive water into the ocean. Volcanic eruptions destroy whole cities.
Can we do anything to avoid this kind of devastation? Or are we simply ignoring the history of natural events?
In 1908 a meteor about 130 feet in diameter impacted the earth in Siberia with an explosive force a thousand times greater than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.
Scientists predict that in this century we will experience a global pandemic, earthquakes will destroy Seattle and San Francisco, and catastrophic flooding will hit New York City. Some also say that we are likely to decide to end human life with a nuclear war by the year 2082.
Already our use of fossil fuels are heating the earth, melting our polar regions, and making our sea water 30 percent more acidic.
This, my fellow citizens of the earth, is the present reality.
Besides this, our earth has a very long term history of natural change. Four mass extinctions of life have been caused by volcanic eruptions, and the explosive eruption of the Yellowstone National Park area is past due.
Life on earth has existed for four billion years. The average mammal species has survived for one million years. But, human life, as we know it, may be over in a hundred years.
The planet earth will exist until the sun dies in five billion years, when the sun’s atmosphere expands to engulf Mercury, Venus and earth. So what!
The vital issue for today is: Can we act now to deal with the realities of our material world? Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! And we better get busy right now learning to live more sensibly with the natural world and more compassionately with each other.
Les Weiner is a retired teacher of many years in three African countries and the United States. He writes poetry and prose from his home in Amesbury. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.