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The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Monday, 03 June 2019 20:59

It’s Getting Warmer

Written by  Bob Serody

When it comes to climate change, people have difficulty in accepting predictions of global warming, or else take the position that we can’t do anything to prevent it. Regardless of our collective numbness on this single issue, I probably won’t be around to witness the catastrophe of global warming, based on my age. I’m also aware that my own influence on the next presidential election and its effect on climate change policy will be measured by just a single vote. I guess that makes me a pragmatist.

When I look for meaning beyond man’s selfishness toward his fellow man and its effect on climate change, I concentrate on efforts made by others to improve the world. When I think about the improvement in healthcare because of discoveries in medicine, when I hear about discoveries that uncover the true nature of our universe, when I occasionally distance myself from the political garbage on TV, I feel a little better. I sometimes do this by asking 'what if' questions. What if I had been born during the time when women were accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake? What if I had been a Jew being banished from Spain during the Spanish Inquisition? What if I had been a prisoner in Dachau? What if I had been drafted during the Vietnam War and was issued a one-way ticket? What if my grandparents hadn’t moved to America from Ukraine to start a new life? What if I had been an American living below the poverty level in this country?

Each of us can list his or her own reasons for feeling luckier than others. But somehow it doesn’t help when climatologists tell us that our collective indifference will spell the end of human existence on this planet, as we know it. On February 14, 1990, as Voyager 1 completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System at a record distance of 3.6 billion miles from Earth, astronomer and author Carl Sagan asked NASA for permission to turn its camera around and take one last photograph of our planet. The image, which revealed a 'pale blue dot', should have convinced us that we are totally insignificant life forms, and yet we still have the ability and the responsibility to preserve life on this beautiful planet, because it is where we live. As Carl Sagan expressed in a speech at Cornell University:

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us… To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”

Then there was Thomas Jefferson who realized that, in addition to setting up a government with three separate and equal branches, education of the public was necessary for the survival of this new form of government. Here is how he put it in Notes on Virginia:

"In every government on Earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover and weakness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories, and to render them safe, their minds must be improved…"

Unfortunately, how easily we forget these words and the fact that those who covet power, whether they are the wealthy few or a corrupt president will do whatever it takes to use the government to take away the people’s rights for equal opportunity. So let's treasure each of our single votes and use them to put a stake in the ground. Following that, it won’t hurt to pray that our collective voices will be heard. I hope it is not too late to save our planet.

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 Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

*ED. NOTE: The views expressed here are solely those of the author. SCPA does not endorse candidates and welcomes commentary on a wide range of issues, including political campaigns, local, regional and national. If interested in contributing commentary, please contact SCPA.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 June 2019 23:06
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