As The World Burns

Well, the distraction technique was working for a while—all the political bickering and almost humorous “debating”—meanwhile, we are all in complete denial. So much so that I don’t believe the new UN report that was buried on my Yahoo home page will make a dent in anyone’s consciousness…and that’s probably how we will destroy ourselves, not really noticing until, perhaps, it’s too late.

I’m going to copy the whole article here because it is freakishly short and to the point:

“GENEVA (AP)—The U.N. weather agency says concentrations of global warming gases are at record levels from emissions that exceed scientists’ worst-case scenarios.

The World Meteorological Organization says heat-trapping carbon dioxide concentrations in the air have reached 389 parts per million—the highest such concentrations since the start of the industrial era in 1750.

WMO says that reflects a 20 percent increase in nitrous oxide, 39 percent rise in CO2 and 158 percent jump in methane since then.

Its report Monday cites fossil fuel-burning, loss of forests that absorb CO2 and use of fertilizer as main culprits.

The concentrations exceed the worst of seven emissions scenarios in 2001 from the U.N.’s expert climate panel.”

This. Is. Not. Funny.

Go ahead, laugh about it with John Stewart or Steven Colbert. Go ahead. Squeeze a read in on the Huffington Post between voyeuristic glimpses of which celebrity couple is getting divorced this week and what politician screwed himself with the next sex scandal. THAT will really help solve the problem.

Solving the problem is easier than it may seem, I believe—on a practical level; but it’s the emotional level that’s hard. And the fact that we have built our lives around ideas of unlimited energy—and that the rest of the world aspires to that same ideal—that is the true problem.

In the past three months we’ve been without power for a total of 10 days at my house—five after Hurricane Irene and five after the Great Halloween Snowstorm. You quickly learn how dependent we have become on the flow of energy (which, remember, we have only really known intimately in our daily lives for LESS THAN 100 YEARS!).  Gas pumps don’t work without electricity. Cash registers don’t work without electricity. Cellphones and iPads don’t work without electricity or gas in our cars to charge them. Wall Street doesn’t work without electricity, either…although it can be occupied without electricity.

Now, let’s go back up and read one sentence again:

“Its report Monday cites fossil fuel-burning, loss of forests that absorb CO2 and use of fertilizer as main culprits.”

And remember, there is one thing that solves many of these problems…organic food. Local, homegrown, organic food. Remember too that it’s organic soil that is the greatest unrecognized absorber of CO2.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that organic food will solve all our problems anymore. It’s too late for that. It’s kind of like this global economic collapse we’ve been teetering on for the past few years. For too long, too many of us have led our lives and our countries as if the future didn’t matter—as if our money, our fuel, our atmosphere, our soil, our forests, our oceans were unlimited.

Guess what: They are not. And neither are we.

Remember that this year when you pull out your holiday lights and you buy your cheap butterball turkey. When you buy too many gifts that were made in factories on the other side of a burning planet (including all those electronic devices).  It doesn’t matter if they were on sale. Each and every one of us is part of the problem.

But each and every one of us is the solution.



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6 Responses to As The World Burns

  1. Anne November 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Maria
    Oh! how very right you are..

  2. Donna in Delaware November 28, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    You are right. We are all in this together, but not all of us are fighting for what’s right and what’s real. We will never come together on this issue. Again yuou are correct in saying that it’s too late. It’s later than we think!

  3. Karen November 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    Very powerful piece. I’d share it on FB, but I didn’t understand the part about occupying Wall Street, and since I support the movement, I don’t feel I can share it. Otherwise, though, you said everything I feel. People don’t have a clue what is actually going on in this world. And they don’t really care. It’s 70 degrees here in Delaware on November 28th. 70 degrees.

  4. maria (farm country kitchen) November 28, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Karen,

    What I meant about occupy Wall Street is that it really doesn’t take any fossil fuel energy or technology to speak up, camp out and protest a system that is broken. I support it!

    I can’t wait for you all to read my guest blog by Joan Gussow on Occupy Wall Street! Coming up soon!

  5. Karen November 29, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    Wonderful, Maria! I can’t wait either. 🙂 And now….sharing!

  6. ad November 30, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    Well stated… I too share the sentiment that we are late, the changes aren’t happening fast enough to detain the disaster. But, I will stay to my devotion of doing my part till it’s all over.

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