It was a powerful call to action. I was momentarily sorry I would not be able to go to NYC to be part of this historic event.
But, the next morning I woke up feeling uneasy. Yes, its important that we make our leaders aware that protecting our planet is important to us. Yes, we need to address climate change. Yes, renewables are a good idea.
But, about those renewables… it was the image in the movie of turbines stretching across the ocean as far as the eye could see that gave me pause. It occurred to me, renewables are not going to be enough. We need to change our lifestyle. I think if we look deep, most of us are secretly hoping that we can continue to live as we are now and just swap out fossil fuels for sun and wind power. If that’s true, we need to make one more change: how we see ourselves in relation to our environment.
Yeah, that’s right. We need to change how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us. Big time. As a culture we are very focused on ourselves. We’re the sun and moon of our existence.
One of the most famous images on the Sistine Chapel ceiling is God is touching the finger of man, giving him life. God’s not touching the nose of an animal or showering the fields with rain, nope. It’s all about us. Michelangelo’s David is another example, but I don’t mean to pick on Romans. Our self infatuation is evident everywhere. And, our myopic focus on ourselves is going to be our downfall. Facebook, anyone?
If we’re secretly hoping that we can continue to live as is and just swap out fossil fuels for sun and wind power, then I think we need to make one more change: how we see ourselves.
We worship ourselves. I’m not just talking about religion. Listen to any radio station. What are 99% of the songs about? The same is true of movies, TV, books, and most art in any museum – we elevate humans and the human form to the highest level. All you have to do is look at birds, fish, animals, or vistas in a national park to know nature is more beautiful and in many instances more sophisticated than anything we can create or imagine.
I was glad to see Vermont taking the moral high road in a Times Argus article Moral Response to Climate Change. They argue that it doesn’t make any sense to replace an intact ecosystem of incalculable value for turbines and an industrial complex capable of offsetting fewer than 10 days of carbon emissions from NYC traffic.
Keep ecosystems intact. Increase wildlife habitat. Realize we’re an intrinsic part of the ecosystem.