I haven’t read the official report, but I’ve read a lot of summaries and I wasn’t at all surprised by any of it. Twelve years left and then we can’t “save the earth.”

I consider it highly unlikely we’ll make that deadline.

I was one of the enthusiastic founders of the original Earth Day. Over the years, as we have cleaned up a lot of the inland waterways — the Blackstone and Hudson Rivers are two notable successes — and cleaned up the air around New York and on the west coast — I knew we weren’t making progress fast enough, but at least I could believe we were trying to head in the right direction.

Now with the big orange dictator setting up the world for extensive additional pollution, I wonder how quickly we will bring about our own doom?

People are the problem.

Our misuse of the earth, our pollution of the waters, our coughing up of coal dust into the air? People. Human beings. We did it, are doing it, and are unlikely to stop.

No other animal has polluted anything. Just people.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “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.”

— English Standard Version, Old Testament (Torah)

I’m not religious, or at least not in any traditional sense. Moreover, I don’t think the seven books of the Old Testament — the Torah — are close to the whole story. I have a lot of backup for this belief. It is widely believed there were hundreds of biblical books, most of which were destroyed during the first burning of the Great Temple. And then again, whatever was left were burnt in Alexandria. Even the memories of what was remembered died with the old Rabbis between the Crusades and the Holocaust.

A pack of gray wolves passes by a remote camera within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The landscape surrounding the failed nuclear reactor now supports a large population of wolves due to the limited human activity.

Hundreds of other books that were equally as holy as the seven we currently revere were burned, buried, destroyed. Do you think maybe they had something to say to us? Maybe this bit of text was not intended to tell us to exploit and despoil every inch of earth and every animal on the planet?

We have dominion over the earth, but we have not ruled the earth so much as destroyed it and now, it’s on the edge of fighting back.

I read a report recently about how well the area around Chernobyl has revived. Without human habitation, it has blossomed and wildlife has returned in plenitude. It’s not that the radioactivity has vanished, but that somehow, the world finds a way to move forward, radioactivity and all.

It turns out the earth can handle nuclear devastation. The only thing that it can’t manage is us.

Bee-eater in flight

This report does not offer us a lot of turnaround time — a mere dozen years. Perhaps you can take comfort in that although the earth may well become untenable as a place for human habitation, once it extracts us, it will be beautiful again as it was when we lived in the Garden of Eden, right below the mountains bordering Syria.

I have, by the way, been there. It’s an incredibly beautiful place where the underground waters that feed the Jordan river fountain up from the earth and wild bee-eaters take flight.

There are two signs on the path to the place.
In Hebrew, the words are “גן עדןmeaning “garden of Eden.”
The other sign says, in English, “Paradise.”

I felt, being there, that indeed if there was an Eden, this could be it. 

You might also take a look at Gordon Stewart’s “Climate Change in the Golden House.”

Categories: climate change, Ecology, Gardens

Tags: , , ,

40 replies

  1. Most poignant to realise how many holy books and words of wisdom have been lost.


  2. Things are as they are… And they will continue as such, until someone changes them. I’ve never been one to sit back with resentment and accept such at face value, “Well that’s just the way it is!”. Change is possible, and can be so rather quickly… When enough people believe in the cause. The change begins with one person, though… And one person can make a difference.


    • Last night I watch the first half of Saturday Night Live and they did their version of the news. So their “anchor” gets on and says “You know, they said the world is going to die in 12 years. That’s pretty soon. So we should all be in a panic about it. I believe in climate change too, so I have no excuse. You know what I’m doing? Nothing. No one is doing anything. Because we only care about what happens to us. Personally.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We are incredibly resilient, us, the planet as a whole. Imagine what it could be like if big business didn’t rule with its almighty $.


    • I think the planet is more resilient than us. We’ll make living on earth a complete hell … but the planet will pull itself together after we are gone.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Spot On.

        Things are not good – and they WILL get worse because of the ‘won’t happen to me’ ideology of many.

        But it won’t be as bad as some make out – at least not in our remaining lifetimes ( and i hope to live another 50 years) ! 🙂


        • No, it will happen a little at a time, although frankly, I’m getting pretty tired of the rain that never ends. I hope it doesn’t turn into the snow that never ends. But no one is doing anything. There’s a universal shrug. “Oh well, we’ll be dead, so we won’t care.”

          Liked by 1 person

          • I hope the snow that never ends doesn’t happen either!

            To be fair though many people are doing things about it – even a few in the US! 😉 (Musk making electric cars and giving us a $100 million dollar battery farm to store solar energy to reduce our need on fossil fuel electricity!! Did that make your news i wonder?

            Litle people recycle to reduce energy use in making new products, etc.

            The problem (as ever) is that some very rich and powerful people have vested interest in selling us coal oil and gas. 😦

            They’re the same ones who fund campaigns like Trump’s and (tony) Abbott’s!! 😦


            • We recycle. We can’t use solar panels — we live in full shade all year round, but there are a lot of solar houses in New England. If you have sun, you can do it and almost for free. Bet that didn’t make YOUR news, either. I know about the battery. It DID make the news, or at least it make MY news.

              Liked by 1 person

  4. Twelve years hmm? Well I’ll just have reached (perhaps) my 70 year mark then and that’s plenty long enough life for me. That is the most chilling thing I’ve heard, in a time when the bad news just keeps coming on. 😦


  5. I remember as a kid hearing about the “population explosion” and I think that is probably upon us now. We will see a lot more refugees and migration of people looking for a place to live. I fear there will be a lot more human suffering to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good Morning, Marilyn. Thank you for the post. Thank you for suggesting yesterday’s post on Views from the Edge.


    • Well, we are on the same topic. I keep hoping to wake someone up, but I think we are already too late. We’d never get it done in such a short time, especially since so many of us aren’t even trying. Talk about sad, this is really sad.


  7. I always thought that pasage about dominion was meant that we were being offered charge of a protectorate… not being given the keys to a sweet shop and invited to gorge.
    That bee-eater is glorious, by the way! I’ve never seen one before and it is a stupendous shot.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Unfortunately, too, too true.


  9. There is a danger that as I grow older, I just want to leave it to the next generation and hope they can save the world. Some countries do have a conscience and are reacting, but others just bury their heads in the sand and hope it will go away.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t see us making that deadline. I feel sorry for the future generations who will have to deal with it. We haven’t even invented space travel so that humans can leave Earth after it becomes totally uninhabitable for them.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Changing the seasons of the world – Marilyn Armstrong | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo
  2. Changing the seasons of the world – Marilyn Armstrong | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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