Our World: Don’t Take Things for Granted
By Bryan Hayes
The world is a big beautiful place without a face, but with an identity all her own. She has no eyes, but there is nothing she cannot see. She has no arms, but she holds all of us with loving grace.
She is ours, all of ours, and each day she provides us with something intangible. For all that she provides, we take her for granted. We forsake her without acknowledging that she is all there is.
How is it that for all that she has provided do we treat her so badly?
How is that we not value her magnificence?
How is that we not understand the ramifications?
While climate change is quite a divided subject, the more there is conversation the better it is keeping it at the forefront of our attention. Debate, and dialogue, is the catalyst of change. Life is never stagnant, nor dull.
Life continues moving, even if we do not. The seasons change. Even if the temperatures are getting warmer, the weather still fluctuates.
In order for progress to happen there needs to be an awareness of a problem, diagnosis, and action taken. Unfortunately, even with awareness, even diagnosis, action is not a certainty. Even with all the facts, it is still not enough.
That is because it is a complicated life we live, and not everyone sees the problem the same way or even as a problem at all. The diagnosis, even if the evidence is overwhelming, can and is, diagnosed differently. Thus, the end result of action is sometimes inaction.
We may all agree that clean, uncontaminated water is a necessity. We may all be in agreement that fresh air is in our best interest. No one wants to choke on smog and not be able to breathe due to pollution.
That though is where the consensus ends. Air and water have been the precipitous of haggling for the entirety of modern civilization, and it is only becoming more contentious. At least, in the United States.
In other countries, there is more consensus and as a result there is direct action. Denmark tops the list of doing the most to protect the environment. By 2050, they have a goal of being completely independent of fossil fuels.
Both internationally and domestically, those hit hardest are those who can least afford it (quite literally). If there is already a lack of resources, especially the basics, any deviation can be devastating. A heat wave may be incredibly uncomfortable for most, for example, but for those without adequate air conditioning it can be life threatening. Also, those disenfranchised have less access to health care, clean air, and clean water.
Much akin to the world we walk on, how often do we take it for granted? How much do we appreciate? The free flowing water? The rain? The trees?
Too often, we do not miss it until it is gone.