If you don’t stop eating, polluting and buying, we’re all gonna die
Human beings are the only narcissists. We are the only species which truly believes that we’re different, the only creatures of the animal kingdom who hate to be called animals, who feel uncomfortable being outside in the rain or the cold or the heat; we are those who’ve created our little cocoons of air-conditioned comfort where we camp ourselves in our entire lives, and enjoy the great outdoors on vacations, treks and the few minutes between car and mall. We’ve so distanced ourselves from the outside world that it’s easy to understand why we just don’t care about the chicken wings, leather boots, or tortoise shell sunglasses that we covet. Because it’s all for us, isn’t it? Even the Bible says, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Well, we’re right on track then. Some of us believe that there’s a supreme being out there, an all-powerful headmaster of the universe, whose primary concern above all other considerations is how humans live their lives. Created in God’s own image, or God created in ours, humans are special. We’re different. We’re rulers of the Earth and nature is on the menu. It’s this blinded, bigoted and self-obsessed worldview that has allowed humans to turn a blind eye to swans dying in oil spills, to polar bears floating on dislodged sheets of ice, to mountains being levelled for highways. But, what goes around comes around.
The Earth and people who care about it are fighting back. Like a dog shaking off the fleas on its body, Mother Earth is slowly realising that the big problem is the biped on his cellphone throwing a bottle of Coke out of the window of his SUV while the AC is on.
Reduce, Reuse, Refuse and Recycle is the mantra of the environmentally conscious few that are taking the fight back to the ones who don’t seem to believe that anything’s wrong. But sadly, when things really start to go bad, when no amount of concrete and steel can save us, and flying away to Mars seems like a better option, it’s not going to matter whether you fought the good fight or not.
An Australian study, entitled ‘Existential climate-related security risk’ brings the end of the world as we know it to 2050, up from the previously too-far-to-care-about 2070 prediction. If they really wanted people to take notice, they’d have called it ‘If you don’t stop eating, polluting and buying, we’re all gonna die!’ But knowing mankind, we’d probably decide to have a year-long End-of-the-World party to bring it all to a glorious end.
Man has always been out of place in this world. Maybe we are God’s children sent down from the heavens, but maybe we need to be taught a lesson about cherishing what we have. We’re sure going to miss it when it’s gone.