21 Apr 2017
- By Jaime Vergara
TO change human behavior and provoke policy changes is the activist intent of holding an Earth Day in our time.
We can trace the history of how we arrived at this day, but we’ve done that in the past. We might look at our limits and possibilities on the planet and Saipan.
The survival of the planet is a subject of many anxious articles, not necessarily of the doomsday variety, but those who use it to flag governmental policies that admittedly, favor the increase of investment value more than anything else. We are nodding to the reality that most of our lives are lived on the direction and guidance of others, only because we refuse to live it ourselves. We are so used to following the dictates of the Santa in the Sky, that the heavenly realm, once pulled down to the awe and wonder of humankind, no longer provide the comfort of certitude. We either have the will and the determination to give form to the unknown, or be drawn to the familiar, tedious and tried, oh, so many times before, and no longer useful other than as a rite and ritual.
It was the earthrise of 1968, later supplemented by the “blue marble” photo of Apollo 17 of 1972. The “blue marble” has since supplanted the earthrise in terms of popular use, but the paradigm shift that came with the earthrise was enormous.
I call the earthrise perspective to be rather ancient, the introduction of human reason into the discourse of what was important to humanity, and guys like Sophocles and Pericles, Socrates-Plato-Aristotle, and the horde of mathematicians that lent their talent, albeit, looking at the earth by looking at the skies, are often taken for granted. For though the Renaissance and the Enlightenment helped occasion major paradigm shifts to the European mind, the traditions of the unity in diversity among the Hindus, the meditative and contemplative stance of Siddhartha, and the communal celebration of vive la difference of the Andes, enrichment of the earth, is its care of its people.
However, we unleashed certain processes that may be detrimental to the evolution of the human species, though I do not think for one that this will endanger the course of the planet itself as it spins, rotates, and ecliptically revolves in the Solar System at the edges of the Milky Way, and on to outer and universal space. The insignificance of the planet relative to its spherical system mirrors my personal insignificance starting with my social milieu to my island society. My planet, and I are NOBODIES.
I am somebody in my 86-year covenant with existence; the planet is SOMEBODY in its 4.3 billion year journey from its core of molten lava to the fragile tectonic plates that constitutes its support of human life at its surface.
Earth Day makes us aware of the NOBODY/SOMEBODY interface of our planet Earth with the rest of the known world. Our fear of its demise that may be the result of our neglect or indifference is a bit overstated, though from the human perspective, soundly appropriate.
Let’s look at SOMEBODY Earth. In its history, the Earth’s biodiversity keeps expanding, punctuated by of mass extinction. Of all species that have lived on the planet, 99 percent are extinct. The extinction of humans is of no great consequence to the health of the planet. Human arrogance, however, cannot stand the thought.
Estimates of the number of species on the planet vary widely and we are at such an early age of information data that most species have been named but not described. Over 7.4 billion estimated humans live on Earth that depends on its biosphere and the Earth’s minerals for its survival. In its brief history as conscious human beings, a diversity of social cultures and groups developed. The United Nations’ count the world’s 192 sovereign states.
The polar and arctic ice caps are melting and humans quiver. We are trapping ultra violate rays in the atmosphere and we think the melting will cause massive flow of water into the oceans that is tectonic plates might actually move increasing the incidences of quakes and tsunamis. That humans might actually survive the addition of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere as its native adaptive capacity goes into gear is often ignored. We are beset more by fear than figure out how we can cope with what we’ve got.
Can Earth Day be a celebrative occasion rather than the forecast of gloom and doom? Would our oceans be overfished if our methods of commercially catching particularly the deep-sea creatures were not so wasteful and cognizant of the dependence of the nearshore marine life to the wild life in the ocean wide? Would our rivers be inhabitable and generative of life if we did not expel our effluents into his currents in order to save the expense of cleaning it up? Would our foothills and topsoil be conserved for agricultural productivity if … I guess, you get my drift.
Mama Gaia, she’s the only one we’ve got. We might leave her with a smile.
Opinions expressed by Marianas Variety contributors are their own.