Monday, April 6, 2015

Blogging A to Z : E is for Eulogy for the Earth

I know most people think January is the time for new beginnings and resolutions. But it seems to me that Easter, when flowers bloom and branches sprout, is a more appropriate time to start afresh and mirror the new life that is bursting forth.

Of course, across the world, our seasons and climates are often different. Here, in the UK, spring flowers are blossoming but in California, Steinbeck's land of milk and honey in The Grapes of Wrath, the soil is currently starved of water as a consequence of extreme drought. A key contributory factor to the drought is the reduced water supplies from the Sierra mountains where the snowpack has been measured at just 8% of its usual levels. So there is little snow and ice to melt - and rivers are running dry.

In 2009 I interviewed leading environmental journalist and former science correspondent for The Guardian newspaper, Paul Brown, here on my blog. We discussed his best-selling book Global Warning; Last Chance for Change in which Paul suggested that, by 2020, there could be a global deficit of water for 20 million people in California. Climate change was to be the guilty protagonist.

Almost six years have passed since I interviewed Paul and climate change is now a far more topical subject. Our news is flooded with reports of erratic weather, environmental disasters and human tragedy. An increasing number of reports suggest that an irreversible tipping point is looming closer. Yet despite strong scientific and physical evidence, I still read articles and comments from sceptics who refuse to believe that climate change is upon us. Their primary argument is that the earth is going through natural periods of cooling and heating and all the anomalies we are experiencing are part of this cycle. Now I don't doubt that the earth has natural cycles and that some disasters are inevitable. However, I still can't help feeling their argument is weak and that, at its most basic level, it is also an abdication of responsibility. It is also a failure to accept the simplest logic - that every action has a consequence.

History tells us that civilizations often die and are replaced or reborn. So it seems likely, should the worst case scenarios of climate change befall us, civilization on earth will continue. But, very possibly, it will not be with the scale of population or luxury that we currently enjoy.

But sometimes, not just civilizations, but entire species die. It's happened before. It's happening now to other life forms and it could happen to humans long before the earth expires. Hopefully we'll have time to leave a legacy or write an eulogy. It could take the form of  a vast library awaiting the visit of extraterrestrials or, perhaps, it might even be a simple message scratched in stone.

 We lived. We loved. We devoured. We died.

Who knows? 




My interview with Paul Brown is HERE and my review of his book is HERE

Spring. The season for rebirth and rejuvenation. Don't waste the opportunity.

Previous posts: A is for Arses and Aidan Turner
                         B is for Bullshit
                         C is for Chinese Crispy Duck and the Conservative Party.
                         D is for Diarrhea, Dinosaurs and Depauperation

You can check out the other participants in the Blogging A to Z challenge HERE.

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