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On Environmental Issues

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And so, finally, I get it. Having spent most of my three score
and sixteen years wandering about this planet we call home; I finally get it.
["And what do you get ?", you may ask.]
What I get is that the world doesn't need saving !!
That's not to say it doesn't deserve it after all the abuse that man has
heaped on it since time began. When you think about it, probably the
first littering was done by Adam when he threw his apple core away.
Although, this analogy requires an amount of Judeo-Christian faith, its
likelihood would not have been the worst; since an apple core is
bio-degradeable. But, it was a start and ever since man has exploited
his discovery of every new resource until it was either depleted or it no
longer served his needs; to the point where we now contend with a
landscape strewn with used Tim Horton, Starbucks and MacDonald's
coffee cups. However, that is not my point.
My point is that, given the amount of abuse humankind has
perpetrated, the world is just fine. It is in perfect balance and headed
for distinction. All life is a process. All things are born, live and die;
including you and me. All things are in balance. It would be true arrogance
on our part to believe that we are the sole cause of earth's demise. What
we have done on the positive side of the ledger is to have temporarily made
human life on earth a bit more palatable at the same time adding to its woes
with as many if not more, negatives. And notice I said "human life"; for all of
the positives have not been conducive to harmony in the universe. Each
"adjustment" we make to our environment makes an equal and/or greater
change to someone else's environment :

Consider the wee mouse's plight in the story of the Mousetrap:

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see
the farmer and his wife open a package. "What food might
this contain?" He was devastated to discover it was a
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse
proclaimed the warning. "There is a mousetrap in the
house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and
said, "Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you,
but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a
mousetrap in the house."
The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr.
Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be
assured you are in my prayers."

The mouse turned to the cow. She said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse.
I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and
dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone. That very
night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the
sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer's wife
rushed to see what it had caught. In the darkness, she did
not see it was a venomous snake whose tail was secured in
the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed
her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever.

Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup,
so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's
main ingredient.
But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and
neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed
them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer's wife did
not get well; she died. So many people came for her
funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide
enough meat for all of them. And, the mouse was left to
fend for himself.
We are all connected; all a part of this great web and, every
time we do or think (yes, think) we affect the harmony and
balance of the entire universe. Space is a great huge
lump of energy that is continuously in flux. It takes a very small
disturbance of the status quo to send ripples moving out in all
directions. It is recognized as the butterfly effect (see So, the next time you hear someone is facing a
problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us
is threatened, all of us are at risk.
Regardless, whatever we do, say or think, the earth is on it's
own collision course with destiny. It has an amazing ability to mend or
replace itself from the atrocities we have dealt out and more, if we
were to only stop doing what we are doing and consider consequences.
Sure there are things each of us can do individually.
You need only visit to find out what can be
done. However, it is not that easy to give up some luxuries; to let go
of the work-saving devices we have become accustomed to; such as
hydro-electric power and non-renewable energy sources. Sure we
can recycle and conserve but it needs a greater sacrifice than that, it
needs a major shift in thinking and understanding; and mostly, that
takes generations. For, as Max Plank put it,
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."
The lifestyle changes we
have collectively made to date are a small pittance compared to what
is needed at this juncture and at any rate, considering the life cycle of
things, guess where we are headed anyway.

The Good News is that we still have a bit of time to turn it around.

Updated 09-18-2013 at 03:37 PM by Shokai



  1. Josan's Avatar
    Thank you Shokai. I work in the environmental sector and it is soul destroying to see how humans mess up this world for other species. However, you are right, the world will continue on its way with or without us (for a good read see Gassho.