Let’s set aside for a moment the debate over whether Earth’s changing climate is the result of human activity or it’s just part of the epochal cycle the planet goes through every few thousand millennia.
I happen to think human beings do play a big part in it. That’s just me.
The bigger issue of the day is this: It doesn’t matter one damn bit!
Whether the planet’s climate is warming because of carbon emissions or deforestation or whether it’s part of Earth’s life cycle, human beings need to do something about it.
Now! Although it might too late.
The Trump administration has just informed the United Nations that the United States is formally withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, joining those two other stalwart nations that didn’t sign the accords in the first place: Nicaragua and Syria.
Earth’s temperature is rising. Sea levels are rising, too. Indeed, the levels will rise even more once a glacier the size of Delaware melts into the ocean; the iceberg broke off of Antarctica recently.
Climate change deniers — led by the current head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — insist that there’s nothing we can, or should, do to abate those changes. We have members of our Congress who suggest that since human activity isn’t the cause that human beings shouldn’t be held responsible to slow it down, if not stop it altogether.
The president of the United States calls climate change/global warming a “hoax” perpetrated by China and other great powers seeking to intimidate the U.S. fossil fuel industry.
I keep coming back to a simple, fundamental point: Whatever the cause — cyclical or at human hands — we human beings are the dominant life form on Planet Earth. Old Testament scripture instructs us to “fill the Earth and govern it.”
So, are we going to govern it or are we going to just sit back and let nature’s forces have their way?
Yes, I know that human beings cannot match nature’s power. I know we cannot change the flow of the rivers, or stem the tides that will rise no matter what we do to prevent it.
Human beings, though, can insist we stop decimating our forests, depriving the planet of vegetation that oxygenates our atmosphere; without it, the air fills with CO2 and, by design, grows warmer. It’s that simple.
Will any of that prevent Earth’s climate from changing? Probably not. However, it is better to seek to do something than to do nothing at all. That’s what good stewards of the world we inherited must do.