Just like everyone else, I am concerned about global warming. I shouldn’t actually say “like everyone else” because everybody is not concerned. Instead, I’ll just say like many people I am concerned about global warming. However, my view on it might be a little different.
I think the threat of global warming is not about the earth. It’s about us humans. The earth has survived all sorts of things. It’s very existence, the shape of it, the continents we live on are because of the constant changes the earth is going through. It blows up. It breaks apart. It melts. It suffers storms. It gets freezing cold. It gets burning hot. It gets flooded. The earth always survives.
It’s we humans who may be in danger. It’s the ways we live that may be in danger.
This post isn’t really about global warming and the effect it will have on humans. This post is really about the resilience of Earth. It will be here long after all of us and everyone we’ve ever known are gone. Do you doubt it? Just think about all of the entire civilizations archaeologists are always uncovering. Entire civilizations! Covered over and forgotten for eons!
My home is on a side street off a main road. That road used to end where you would either have to make a right or a left to go down my block or up the other block. There was a lush forest at the end of the road. That forest was replaced, years ago, with a long, circular drive that leads up to a guard shack that leads to a sprawling federal building complex. No more trees (well, they planted some to line the sidewalk). No more beautiful forest. No more deer (except the ones that find their way back and get hit by cars.) No more lush green there, across the street, to venture through or just to gaze into. It’s gone.
As sad as that makes me, years ago when my family had dogs, we would always walk our dogs around the circle of that long drive up to the guard shack. I noticed that in just very few years – I’m talking maybe only two or three – after that complex was put up and our forest was destroyed and replaced, walking up the sidewalk and down the other side I would see that the concrete was already beginning to crack in some places; or that, between the concrete slabs I would see a little bud or a little green leaf. One day I stopped and said to my husband, “It doesn’t matter what we humans do. The earth always pushes through. Always.”
Go outside and look at the ground. Look between the concrete slabs of the sidewalk. What do you see? These weeds that people are fighting in their driveways and in their gardens are the earth saying, “I will not be stopped. I will not be stopped.” The earth is going to go on. I find something comforting in that. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s just the reminder that there is something so much bigger than us. And I love the earth, with its green and its blue and its seasons and its bursts of color, its oceans, its mountains. It will not be stopped. Its beauty will be here forever.
How global warming came about, well I believe both things: that the planet Earth goes through changes on its own; and that we humans, in our infinite stupidity, can also ruin things. But to me, it truly doesn’t matter. The Earth will go on. The Bible says that Earth was created to be inhabited forever – (I’m not getting into scriptural discussion here; stay on task) – and everything I’ve ever seen suggests that it will. But I’ll put it to you like this: the best thing man can do is learn to live on Earth regardless of what it is doing. And hasn’t man always done just that? We may have to learn to live in a totally different climate, without ever moving away from where we were. We might have to learn to live on water where there used to be desert or in cold where it used to be hot. Whatever happens, we might as well bend to it because it is not going to bend to us, not permanently.
We don’t know what our descendants may have to contend with. But we do know there will be sky and blue and leaves and green and wind and water. Whatever those new conditions are, there will be people writing about the beauty of it all.
The earth will push through. Eons from now, archaeologists will clear some of it away to find evidence of us far down beneath those little green leaves.