Unchecked growth in a body is called cancer. We have accepted and grown to expect growth. Like an addict we count on and depend on more.
In every age, pioneers and settlers are struck by the vastness of the forests and herds, shores teeming with fish. Plenty and abundance, there for the taking. And so they did. Never considering the vastness of time that had put them there.
Moving, always moving. New horizons, new hunting grounds, new lands. Moving from species to species and from one extraction industry to the next. A hungry, restless species are we.
And this condition will, in the end, be our undoing.
You cannot refill an aquifer when it has been sucked dry.
You cannot remake the land when the topsoil has blown away.
The processes for reclamation and renewal are slow.
When balance is regained, it will be on other terms.
None of the science of climate or sustainability is new. The basics have been understood broadly for more than a century. What is new is the vast scale and scope of the degradation we are inflicting on our planet.
The true sorrow of the situation is that the majority of the damage has been done knowingly. In the span of a lifetime, while we have been aware of both causes and effects, we have gone forth willfully, pedal to the metal, get-it-while-we-can.
Even today, as a Swedish schoolgirl stands, placard in hand, in front of her Parliament, standing witness for all, we will not see.
As the Louis The Beloved, King of France, and his paramour remarked, “Après nous, le déluge.”
Or, in more plain terms, Mark Twain and a friend stepped out just as a downpour began.
Twain’s friend asked, “Do you think it will stop?”
Twain replied, “It always has.”
After us baby, It won’t be the deluge but the great silence that will fall.