Get our newsletters

Chatterbox: The meaning is personal


Almost all children make their parents marvel at them, whether learning his/her first word or displaying some cognitive thought. Older parents with adult children marvel too; only the magnitude changes. So came another moment for me, as my adult daughter and I shared our theories on the “end” of Earth.

(Here is where I respectfully state that, for anyone who doesn’t believe the following statement, today’s Chatterbox isn’t recommended reading.) NASA, along with 18 other scientific associations, state: “Based on well-established evidence, about 97% of climate scientists (around the world) have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening … the Earth’s climate is changing in response to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and particulate matter in the atmosphere, largely as the result of human activities. … It’s important to remember that scientists always focus on the evidence, not on opinions.”

Nearly every scientist on the planet, who is open-mindedly studying unbiased research, the physical evidence, and the rising heat of the planet, plainly sees its effects on our lives via our planet’s future ability to sustain human life. For those people who agree with them, a change is coming. For those who don’t agree, the same change is coming, because denial cannot eradicate truth, though many have tried it.

We have already passed zero hour for the total rescue of our planet. There is still hope for eventually remediating some damage, and limiting future damage, but we’re losing irreplaceable time and stability every day; that means working backwards from a global deficit.

Who understands more about Earth than NASA? According to the above noted 2022 NASA statement “… continuing a long-term trend of rising global temperatures … the nine most recent years have been the hottest. … Scientific evidence continues to show that human activities … have warmed Earth’s surface and its ocean basins, which in turn have continued to impact Earth’s climate … based on over a century of scientific evidence forming the structural backbone of today’s civilization.”

We must work, vote, and maybe even sacrifice a little, for the protection of our planet’s health, ending the interruption of Earth’s cyclical process, which sustains all life. The proliferation of poisonous additives to our food, pesticides and agricultural practices killing wildlife and endangering the bees, without whose pollination food sourcing is impossible. We must end the misinformation about fossil fuels, the control of food production by too few conglomerates, the coating of the planet in plastic that can never be destroyed, and moderate any practices birthed by greed, endangering the only planet we can survive on.

While hypothesizing the end of days and while understanding that a dystopian transition is horrifying but possible, I shared my theory with my daughter while we dried the dishes. Her theory made a lot more sense than mine; it also held a more merciful new beginning. Either way, for however long it takes us to transition into Earth’s next phase, global climate change will bring unpredictable, worldwide social change.

Some people are into Earth’s post-apocalyptic dystopia; it sells movie tickets, but real world changes accompanying real climate changes are not science-fiction. Earth’s ill-health will increasingly affect and limit, worldwide: food sourcing; clean drinking water; emergency/medical care, indeed, all life essentials on which humans depend. How possible commercialism, or even human aggression, in such a crisis will affect society and its inherent humanitarianism, it is hoped, we’ll never know.

As the hot house effect begins to change the planet’s food chain, as food and water become rarer (maybe those Doom’s Day preppers are onto something), as springs and rivers disappear, governments will have to take charge, perhaps distilling it from our seas. Eventually, individuals may have to harvest it themselves. As commercial agriculture declines, sustenance will become harder to acquire, making food and water priceless commodities; violence will result.

If our highly compromised planet can produce anything, individuals who know how to plant, hunt, and gather – if they can hide themselves and defend their cache – will be able to sustain themselves longer than those who can’t.

Then, my brilliant daughter looked at me and said, “… and the meek shall inherit the earth.”

I cried.

Simply for the sake of clarity, we must admit that the Bible has many interpretations of every verse and it, itself, isn’t the final or definitive word for everyone.

No matter; I cried anyway.

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.