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Web of Life

Humans have an uncanny ability to dwell on the past and fret over an unknown future. Both of these mind games ignore the present and take so much for granted in the right here, right now. While you can't go back in time and fix previous mistakes you also can't control a potential future, not completely anyway.

For example, you could save money to have for your future self, but you can't predict any economic misfortune that could wipe out your nest egg. Choosing not to save at all isn't productive either, but other aspects of life might fall victim to such defeatist non-action. Why bother to think about climate change? There's nothing I can do to make a difference. Anyway, I'll be gone before it gets terrible. So, why bother?

There is a quote about planting trees under which shade you will not enjoy. In other words, doing things for the world, for other people with no promise of individual, personal reward, is the most selfless act any human can do, to be a good steward of life and leave behind the opportunity for others to thrive.

Unfortunately, too many people look at our Earth as dead and available for humans to extract and exploit. Alongside this notion is a Cartesian dualism that elevates humankind above all other creatures and results in a breakdown of everything into its component parts. These selfish ones want and want and don't care about the ramifications of their exploitation. To them, freedom means doing whatever they want, and the consequences be damned. As one critic put it, that viewpoint should be called freedumb. This misguided attitude alarms the others and creates a split, a conflict, a crisis of worldview.

Others take a holistic view and see the world as alive and everything, including humankind, as interconnected in a vast complicated living system. Nothing happens by itself, alone, in a vacuum as even a slight change affects other parts. These effects can be positive (more food) and negative (species extinction). Balance becomes crucial. Sustainability is the goal. Better quality of life for all the ultimate outcome.

And so a battle ensues where the two factions fight over who is right or wrong in a war of differing viewpoints. The worst aspects emerge from a kind of ignorance employed by people who confuse opinion with actual facts. A science denier may claim that something is only a theory anyway, and in my opinion the scientists' opinion (theory) is wrong and therefore I am right. But this is not how science works.

There are facts. Proven facts. These facts become evidence, usually a preponderance of evidence to support the theory. Duly supported, the theory gets adopted and recognized as the prevailing explanation... unless other evidence can disprove it. A lack of evidence to the contrary doesn't invalidate a theory. Only hard science contrary to the accepted notion can do that. Those ignorant of these rules neglect the fundamental reason for the 'theory' label. The world is warmer, and if present trends continue (as the facts of the past show a clear trend), then climate change will have a severe impact on the future. Maybe we should do something about it, say those who see the world alive. But to the dead world believers, they see no point. Get what they can get why they still can.

Maybe what we fear won't happen climate-wise. Maybe if I save money for the future it won't get wiped out. Non-action is not an option. Just as you should save for the future, we should make significant changes to safeguard the climate for the future.