‘Earthrise’. Photography by the Apollo 8 astronauts. It was this photo that helped spring to life the EPA

The World Has Changed

So here’s a question. What currently defines your everyday life?

Coffee in the morning? The drive to work? The search for work? Dinner or a drink with friends? That small, but ever-so-important smile you received from a co-worker? A kiss from your significant other?

All of this, is what we hold dear to our own lives. All of this, we are assured as necessities in maintaining stability and a conducive framework for a gratifying life.

When I was a kid, I remember the day I saw life outside my own existence. It’s a terrifying realization to be honest. Knowing that life was beyond the tall oaks and maples of my backyard — a whole other world filled with people who had their own experiences, their own needs, their own assumed realities. It all began when I started to read.

Around the same time, I was hooked to the idea of nature. Animals of all kinds — cardinals, squirrels, cicadas, deer, even the very worms underneath one’s feet. All of them interacted with each other, with us, in many time unseen ways. But nonetheless, they provided an important part in my own reality of life. Case in point — earthworms helped the soil, which then enriched the growing abilities of the flowers. Memories of daisies and daffodils flood my childhood springtime memories. Forget the April showers. We should give the April earthworms credit too.

But I digress.

We live in what I like to call the ‘Apocryphal Age’. A time where stories of doubtful authenticity are widely circulated as true. In the 1800’s Robert Louis Stevenson used the word to help describe the mystery of Dr. Jekyll’s sinister benefactor, Mr. Hyde. In the story many of Jekyll’s own neighbors found themselves helplessly bewildered at Hyde’s own non-moral attitudes. It’s an enrapturing story, one that will haunt you months after reading it.

I bring up Mr. Hyde and the earthworms and the your everyday life to bring up this point. Everything I just described has something in common. A singular bond that ties them in a inextricable fact.

All of this only exists on Earth.

It’s not a revolutionary idea, not even a hidden one. And yet, everyday we live are lives, and despite the age where things are uncertain (aka Fake News) — we believe that the sun will rise, the birds will sing, and food will be on the table.

But again, all of that only exists on Earth.

There are certain you need to know about me. First, I am an American. I say that to preface that I don’t doubt in my writings much of my own perspective will be an American one — often one that can be detached from the view of much the rest of the world. For the readers that feel isolated from my work, please voice your thoughts as they come. I welcome constructive criticism as a way to improve my own thinking and the dialogues I delve into with others.

Second, this is a blog that will focus on the environment. But not strictly from the standpoint of science. With Climate Change an ever-present part of the scientific community throughout the world, it is an acknowledged part of our future existence as humans that yes, our actions have consequences. Though I’ve always been surprised at people’s denial of this (in particular, Americans), I believe that the argument towards saving the planet as we know it has been approached from the wrong strategic standpoint. Which brings me to my third point.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ. Hear me out. I believe in his ability to save people from their own brokenness, and the acknowledgement of just how much he has given to the world from a non-religious point of view (more on this later). I believe much of America’s stubbornness in the desire to save the planet from mankind’s actions has been argued from a religious standpoint — ‘God wouldn’t let it happen’, ‘We can’t save the world, that’s God’s job’ — that we tend to forget the root of women and men’s original occupation in the Judeo-Christian story of Creation.

They were gardeners.

Not farmers, not hunters, not even social media celebrities. They were commissioned by God to tend, cultivate, name and protect what God had made.

That is where I am coming from. The problem I see is how many of my fellow Christians draw a line in the sand against scientists who are proponents of a ‘godless evolution’. The fight against that form of evolution and the fight to halt climate change is quite a different problem. It’s a line in the sand that is getting washed away by the rising tide.

When Martin Luther King fought for civil rights throughout the 1950’s and 60’s, he and his team were aggressively strategic in how they made Americans face the morality of how segregation negatively affected others. He believed that in order to truly change the face of America, you had to make the privileged be faced with their own morality in light of the suffering of the oppressed. Hence the Montgomery Bus Boycotts. Hence Selma. Hence MLK’s very own death.

I believe there is much in common with Americans. More in common that we all think. We want the best for our country. We want the best for our children, and a life of flourishing for ourselves while we are given the days on this Earth.

But until we are faced with the morality of Climate Change, like America before the Civil Rights movement, our planet will be in danger of causing an-ever increasing amount of suffering.

For the developing world first. The developed world second. And then our very neighborhoods, families and ourselves.

I am not an expert in science. I am a storyteller. And in the stories of old, I see how each age of the human race is given a responsibility to conquer a seemingly overwhelming problem. Long gone are the privileges of our ancestors, where the world we saw was the world we knew. We are far too knowledgeable now.

In the book of Genesis, there is a story about Cain, the first son of Adam. In a jealous rage, Cain kills his brother Abel. When God asks Cain where Abel is, Cain answers in the ever infamous words we still say,

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Buying a $5 t-shirt, thinking we snagged a deal, not reading how it’s made.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Replacing my iPhone 7 the very next year with an iPhone 8, designed in California, made in China by those who could never afford the phones themselves.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Watching factories dump waste into the ocean, creating giant whirlpools of trash islands twice the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean and we shrug our shoulders, believing we are helplessly watching our planet go down the drain.

“Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Until we believe that the Earth is filled with our brother, our mother, our sister, our father — those who very much desire the same kind of joys and fulfillment — we will never treat the Earth the way we should.

This is not a scientific argument. This is a moral one.

Climate Change is in our very midst. But so is the hope that if we band together, solutions will present itself. Even with people who we disagree vehemently with.

Because it’s the little things that define our lives, and if we don’t start now, those little things will disappear. And there’s no where else to go.

Save for Mars. But, c’mon, to live there would be quite unfavorable. Matt Damon proved it to us.