Off to climate march. I hope that everyone is doing something that helps the climate.
It’s shocking to me that it’s become a partisan issue in this country, as though dirt and air and birds somehow had leanings in one direction or another. It’s also surprising that after having been through Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and the near decimation of eagles and other birds of prey, and the realization that lead in gas was not a great idea, or lead in paint, or that a river on fire perhaps meant we’d all gone a little too far in terms of contaminating our water, there are still people that don’t take it seriously, or need to be convinced – again. I don’t want to eat corn that creates its own pesticide, or read about plastic zones in the Pacific. The photographic evidence is there of shrinking glaciers, violent storms, rising sea levels. The BP disaster in the Gulf should have been enough, but some people seem to think destroying fish and wildlife and the fishing industry is just the price we pay for being able to drive to work.
For me, it’s the memories of things that are gone. The monarch butterfly, nearly eradicated thanks to Monsanto and pesticides that kill not only what they eat, but attack their health as well. I have a memory of driving down a road in the country at twilight, and there were so many butterflies that they were hitting the windscreen. I picked one off the bumper, and saved it, guilty that we had killed one of the hundreds that were flying in the darkening sky. Then the numbers began to fall, slowly, quickly. Every summer, there would be a few, we would be surprised and delighted, then surprised again that we were surprised. Now there are none. I’ve seen no evidence of the orange and black wings that used to be a gift of beauty, part of the fleeting tenderness of summer, a wonder that something so delicate could survive.
We seem to think that the poisons we scatter liberally into the atmosphere, into the water, and into the soil won’t affect us, as though we were superior beings not bound to the same cellular truths as the rest of the living beings on this planet.
Anyone who had a history class must remember how the Romans were held up as an example of a people with a fatal flaw. How could they not have realized that the lead in the pipes, in the makeup, was killing them?
If there’s anyone left in the future to read about this time, I have no doubt that they will ask the same questions. Why did they poison themselves? Why did they let companies dictate policy based on risk management and acceptable human loss? Why did they not notice the weather patterns changing? Why didn’t they realize that they needed bees for their food supply, instead of watching them all die off?
Off to march, before they off all of us.