Previous Address: Mother Earth

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To Whom It Should Concern,

We, the race known as humanity, have been relocated - evicted really - due to unruly activity here on Mother Earth. The move was rather sudden, although the build up to it took ages. Our landlord was exceptionally patient with our behavior. We were not as kind.

You may likely hear from the neighbors we were anything but neighborly. In just a few short millennia:

• We polluted the planet to the point where breathable air became a luxury - and thus a basis for geo-political war.
• Clean water could only be found near 'poop-to-potable' zones that miraculously turned our waste into some form of consumable liquid.
Food wars emerged, not over an absence of such but over issues of access and excess.
• We managed to wipe out three quarters of the species on the planet - mainly for sport and support of our people populating ways.
• We carved off ice shelves the size of countries that had remained intact since the extinction of the dinosaurs.
• We altered the temperature on the planet by 5 degrees in barely over a century (apparently a bigger issue than we thought).
• All while killing off one another under our own interpretations of Who brought us here in the first place.

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Yes, I suppose we created quite a mess while living here on earth. We were loud. We were rude, inhospitable. We were self-absorbed and all-consuming. And then, we were expendable. And evicted.

The landlord kept warning us. She even provided us with a regular cleaning service - we called them storms - but to no avail. Our home finally became so infested with, well, us that Mother Earth had no choice but to serve our eviction notice. And we didn't even take notice of that. We just kept on going, from room to room, trashing what remained. Left the house far worse than we found it.

I suppose there is a learning in all this. There is a learning in everything. After all, this realm is both a playground and a classroom. We just spent more time in the playground. We were never the best of students, nor tenants. We were always fighting with one another. I'm sure our neighbors are still receiving the transmissions of our transgressions. No way to control our voice in space. Maybe instead of trying desperately to reach out to neighborhoods across the galaxy, we should have been paying more attention to our own backyard. We kept receiving the message of loving, yet gave little in return. All conditional, to the demise of our conditions.

There is more, but we wouldn't want to bore you further with the details. Not to mention it is far too painful a story to relive. Not the brightest lights in the sky after all. Certainly not the gods we pretended to be.

As the new race, the new tenants of the planet, we can only hope you enjoy the premises. We apologize - boy, are we sorry - for the shape we have left it in, but Mother Earth is a good landlord and will have likely cleaned up the place before your arrival.

Please kindly forward any correspondence to, hmmm, we haven't been given a new address as of yet. Let me get back to you on this one. Seems we're having some difficulty finding another home, given our reputation and all. The universe is apparently a bit more attuned than we were.

Well, in any event, apocalyptic and otherwise...

Best Wishes (and Better Luck),
All Humanity

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-- This post was inspired by the events of late; the ritualistic burning off of our most precious resource, that which feeds the life force of the planet. Indonesia as the latest example of human disdain for the planet (and that which breathes it) demonstrates once again there are no borders, only neighbors who share one common home. We are in it - together. And the destiny of humanity is written by us all.

With the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change, may we move beyond the rhetoric and into substance for our subsistence. History is kind to those who learn and grow... and less so to those whose ignorance reigns supreme.

The fate of humanity is at stake. Mother Earth will continue to spin in its proper direction.

Whether we are invited along for the journey is up to us.

David Scott Clegg is the author of the award-winning novel The Longest Distance. He is the Managing Director of The HEAD Foundation, a global education think tank; and Founder of UNITE Education.