“for all good men to come to the aid of the … planet”. When I was teaching myself to touch-type at the age of 18, the last word of this typing drill was “party”, which today should be replaced by a reminder of the responsibility we share to protect our environment. The other drill was, of course, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”, because it forces you to type every letter of the alphabet. It was a stretch of the imagination that agile foxes and even lazy dogs would behave like that. But if we do not take to heart my amended version of the first drill, then doomsday – even without Trump – will not be far away.
Even if some scientists, and especially too many non-disinterested politicians, continue to deny the human contribution to climate change, I would prefer we err on the side of caution. Our parents and grandparents wanted to make sure that life would be better for us than it was for them. They were concerned about our future. Our own children and grandchildren may not have one. And it will be our fault. I survived the 20th century (which is close to a miracle) and even this first part of the 21st. I have been lucky in so many ways, many of which I took for granted : enjoying more or less predictable weather proper to each season, never needing to wear a mask in polluted cities, not being concerned about pesticides in my food (blessed ignorance !) nor the depletion of fish in the ocean and the color of coral, nor the threat of mounting sea-levels and the melting of ice at the poles, the leveling of forests for agriculture and urban development and by more and more frequent fires, and the destruction of life and property through uncontrollable quirks of the weather from hurricanes to heat-waves.
Our blue planet is scheduled to last another five billion years. What if we were already in its final century ? “GOD” can’t stop it happening. WE can. Yes, we CAN !