We go to the post office. Or the grocery store. Or travel Knoxville’s streets. People “social distance,” but it’s more than that. There’s an aura of distrust. More than distance, hostility. The world is weird. Post-apocalyptic. Life is no more, at least like it used to be.
This miasmic darkness is no more evident than the total disregard being manifested for others’ feelings or rights or consideration. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule? I will treat you as I want to be treated.
Poor Mother Earth. She weeps. Let me tell you why.
The good news, and that which undoubtedly makes her smile, is that with diminished human activity, scientists and climatologists are noticing a healthy phenomenon. In just the short time that the coronavirus has roamed the earth, afflicting devastation on humanity, some endangered species are making a comeback. Vegetation is regenerating. Less harmful carbon dioxide is being released. Thick and sickening smog over many major metropolitan areas is abating. Mother Earth takes a deep breath of relief and is grateful.
But, where there are gains along those lines, we humans are making up for it by polluting even more in different ways. Yeah, there are still the cigarette butts and beer cans and plastic bags and fast food wrappers I clean from our office parking lot on a daily basis. Sadly, that remains. But, now a new insult is being hurled at Mother Earth. Lots and lots of discarded rubber gloves and masks tossed to the roadside and in parking lots after a single use.
You know, when you think about it, this earth we live on is not really ours. It’s God’s. He made it. He commanded that we steward it, not own and destroy it. That the Golden Rule applies to Mother Earth, too. That we may litter and deface and cavalierly destroy her for a while, but she will roar back with a vengeance in multiple ways we will sorely regret. Cancer through individual and industrial pollution of the environment. In just a relatively few years, there will be more plastic in our waterways than fish. We are now being warned that most viruses are engendered from animals kept in close quarters who develop diseases from quickly spreading pathogens and fecal runoff (officially called CAFOs or Commercial Animal Feeding Operations). Yet, in the name of convenience and profit, we forge ahead as if there’ll never be any consequences. For instance, due to online purchasing and shipping, cardboard recycle centers are overrun above capacity to handle their load.
What then do we do? Where’s the hope? Start right now where you are to think smaller. More patiently. More what is needed over what is wanted. If any good news is to emerge out of this coronavirus dilemma, perhaps it is that we realize we can get by with less than we thought. That we’re all in this together. That it’s not about me, but about we. And that our good ole Mother Earth deserves a break, too.
G Turner Howard III
G3 Attorney, Wreck Attorney