One simply cannot ignore the media coverage of “global warming”, but that does not in any way mean the general public has the whole picture, the factual snippets that in some small individualized way, we have control over. Whether as small as turning the lights off and shutting your computer down when you leave the house, or as public as driving a smaller car, you have the chance every day to contribute to the cause that we have collectively ignored for far too long.
You wouldn’t douse your house with gasoline after finding out you had a terminal disease, you would want that house to in some way benefit your loved ones, whether through shelter or equity, your legend would live on in an overt and benevolent way. The point is, the people we love, the family, friends and lovers that impact our lives are special to us and we would like to offer them the best chance at happiness when our physical manifestation on earth ends. Why do we have such a hard time feeling that impulse when it impacts those descendants of whom we will never meet? Why do we have to touch, kiss, hug and laugh with people in order to care for their well-being?
I think of my niece, Alivia, now 5 years old and full of smiles, questions and giggles, I want nothing but her happiness, success and safety. Knowing that, I have to extend my empathy to relatives I will probably never know. What world will Livi’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren live in? Will they be battling drought, famine and wind speeds greater than anything seen yet through human eyes? Will the world be overpopulated, reducing arable farm land and creating a peasant-like existence for the vast majority of people? Will the farming industry crumble to a true oligarchy, reducing crop diversity, and broadcasting chemicals with a carte blanche attitude, beholden to the dollar while spiting the delicate ecological balance? I cannot say whether this will or will not happen, but I do know that I will contribute to these concerns as little as possible and try to benefit the local environment as much as possible until the day I die.
I get furiously passionate when discussing these topics, frustrated by obdurate positions, by decisions made without the facts, by ostentatious displays of disregard in the form of large, loud trucks carrying nothing but the driver. I cannot stop anyone from dumping gasoline into their dually trucks for everyday transportation, I cannot prevent the excavation of forested areas with plans for a new parking lot, but I can live my everyday life with all of these things in mind. It just so happens that my greatest passion is directly involved in these topics; the honeybee is affected by and affects that delicate balance like few other species on this planet. We love them for their creations, wax, propolis and of course honey, but we should all appreciate their true place in all of our lives, the impacts they have on the food we eat, the flowers we smell and the leafs that convert our carbon deposits into tall towering trees and fresh breathable oxygen.
The tag-line, “Think Global, act Local” puts my position in concise terms. I will do all I can to take care of my bees, the acres they forage and the ground I frequent until I cease to be. Then, and only then, will I be able to look back at my life and not be ashamed. Similar to the spirit of Christians trying to convert their loved ones so that they, too may travel to a blissful after life existence, I will try to convince everyone who will listen to think of their place in the collective decision to care or not to care about the world that will belong to billions of humans who had no say in it’s development.
You don’t have to become a zealot, I am not encouraging you to throw red paint on fur coats, or to chain yourself to a beautiful tree in harm’s way. I am suggesting that you take a few minutes, read some articles on both sides of the equation and make a firm decision. Once you have made that decision, do what you can to make the ground you walk sustainable, to keep your patch of the earth green and to leave something for your great-great-grandchild to dig in, till, harvest and enjoy.