This planet

Coal

I attended the funeral of a church member yesterday. Now my “designated” protestant affiliation is with the Presbyterian church but if you have spent anytime reading my blog you know that I also mix in my Kool-Aid some Universalism, Buddhism and most any other “ism” that I might find interesting.

At my church we don’t have funerals per say we have a “celebration of life” as it is called. There is no casket, or body, or flowers for that matter, the service is about the life of the individual and their service to humanity and their faith.

The person’s life we were celebrating yesterday was, without a doubt one of the most interesting people I have ever encountered in my life. Have you ever met someone who was so smart, so cerebral that talking to them was not just difficult but at times painful? That was Bill. His social awkwardness was compounded by the fact that he looked and dressed like a mad-scientist, wild hair, a crazy patchwork beard and suits and ties that were at least 50 years old and were never going to come back in style.

His PhD was in the study of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. Not topics one generally discusses around the coffee pot at church on Sunday so what you were left with is “how about this weather Bill?” which would launch him into a variety directions and all I could do is hope and pray that my wife would come out of the bathroom and rescue me soon. I learned a lot about Bill yesterday but there were two things I already knew, he loved our church and he was deeply concerned about this planet.

About this planet he had a very simple view, we are stewards, short-term tenants and it is our responsibility to take care of it and pass it on to the next generation. It distressed Bill how cavalier we treated the earth. I heard him launch into a diatribe once in Sunday school about air pollution, speaking in terms and measurements none of us could possibly understand. When he was done their was silence and then someone asked, “Bill, what does all that mean?” and he responded very matter of factually, with absolutely no emotion, “We are slowly poisoning this planet and if we don’t change soon we will kill everything on it including ourselves”.

Bill had a very aggressive and untreatable form of brain cancer which he battled for 12 months. At the end of his life he spent most of his days in and out of consciousness. Two days before he died one of our ministers was visiting with him and his wife while he was awake. She asked him if he would like for her to say a pray for him, Bill said no, don’t pray for me, pray for the world, pray for the health of this planet.

Bill would have agreed with Wendell Berry’s sentiment that we should all; “cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.” But we are moving in the wrong direction. Don’t believe me? Here are a few headlines to consider;

  1. TRUMP PROPOSES CUTS TO CLIMATE AND CLEAN-ENERGY PROGRAMS

  2. REPORT: TRUMP MULLING MAJOR CUTS TO CLEAN ENERGY RESEARCH

  3. EPA LOOSENS REGULATIONS ON TOXIC AIR POLLUTION

  4. MOST OF NATIONAL PARKS ADVISORY BOARD RESIGNS IN PROTEST

  5. REPORT: CLIMATE CHANGE WEB SITES ‘CENSORED’ UNDER TRUMP

  6. TRUMP INTERIOR DEPARTMENT DECLARES THAT ACCIDENTAL BIRD DEATHS ARE LEGAL

  7. TRUMP DROPS CLIMATE CHANGE FROM LIST OF NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS

  8. TRUMP UNVEILS PLAN TO DRAMATICALLY DOWNSIZE TWO NATIONAL MONUMENTS

  9. INTERIOR DEPARTMENT PROPOSES LARGEST-EVER OIL AND GAS LEASE AUCTION

  10. TRUMP EPA POISED TO SCRAP CLEAN POWER PLAN

  11. MINING HEALTH STUDY HALTED; CLIMATE ADVISORY PANEL DISBANDED

  12. TRUMP REVOKES FLOOD STANDARDS ACCOUNTING FOR SEA-LEVEL RISE

  13. EPA DROPS DELAY OF OBAMA-ERA OZONE STANDARDS

  14. NOAA CANCELS RULE TO PROTECT WHALES FROM FISHING NETS

  15. U.S. PULLS OUT OF PARIS CLIMATE AGREEMENT

It really isn’t a big surprise that Trump and his Deplorable base have a total disregard for this planet. Trump has built his campaign on promises that only have a ten to twenty your lifespan, short-term gains at the expense of our children and grandchildren. Too many of us believe that technology will save us, that somewhere in our future are kids that will figure out how to feed our need for electricity without polluting the air and the oceans, or burying spent nuclear fuel in landfills for thousands of years. Feed our need for mobility without sucking every last drop of oil out of the earth. Maybe technology will save us, but wouldn’t a better starting point for these future kids to work from not be when we are on the brink of extinction?

Advertisements

About ends and beginnings blog

I am a frustrated writer and poet waiting to be discovered. A stand-up philosopher performing on a street corner near you. A Christian with questions but I don’t want to hear your answers. A Buddhist with a bumper sticker on my truck to prove it. A collector of quotes. A grower of lettuce. The Patron Saint of earthworms who name their children after me. A cyclist whose big ass strains the seams of his Lycra bibs. I am American by birth, Southern by the grace of God. My goal in life is to leave an imprint on the lives of the people I love not a footprint on the earth. I am a son, a husband, a father composed of 65%-Oxygen, 18%-Carbon, 10%-Hydrogen, 3%-Nitrogen, 3%-Diet Coke and 1%-Oreo.
This entry was posted in Longreads, Thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to This planet

  1. Bill is lucky he won’t be around to see the catastrophic effects of the staggering ignorance of climate change deniers like trump. What’s a shame is trump probably won’t, either.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nan says:

    Climate change is simply too big of a topic for the wee mind of tRumpsky. Instead he must rely on his fawning “base” and his “knowledgeable” religious leaders to guide him … and it’s obvious where that is taking us.

    Sorry about Bill. He may have been somewhat :weird, but he had a solid outlook on how we’re destroying the planet that provides us with so much.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is the biggest sellout in U.S. History. Trump is selling out our natural resources to the 1% so that they can profit off them. Coal, oil, minerals, you name it. Rather than look toward to the future by investing in renewable energy, Trump’s filthy rich “friends”, like Rex Tillerson, will drain every drop of oil, extract every lump of coal, and frack every bit of natural gas. To hell with the environment is their mantra. Money means more than clean water or fresh air. Bill was a crier in the wilderness for the cause of our sacred planet.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Combine that attitude of the anti-environmentalists with the “religionists” who encourage an earth-ending catastrophe in order to usher in the new God created world-wide theocracy and the future looks mighty bleak for those of us who cherish this Creation. They are so damned short-sighted that they don’t realize nothing will be left for them to control……and 45 leads the pack.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your friend, Bill, did what he could while he lived. Now, it’s your turn to carry his banner.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Scottie says:

    I am often amazed that people do not realize we have only this one planet to live on. We are spoiling the very habitat we need to live. While some show dismay over the destruction of one or another species habitat , they fail to realize that for every species we destroy or drive to extinction is another nail in the coffin of the human race. We need air we can breathe, food sources to eat, soil that will grow healthy food, clean water for us / our crops / other living creatures in the food chain, a temperature range we can live in and grow our crops, and of course reusable materials and renewable energy. We are pushing our own species in to desperate times with no other habitat to go to when this one is destroyed. Best wishes. Hugs

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s