Of the many messages of the Oscars telecast, Leonardo DiCaprio's was the most important. Why? Because it wasn't a political issue, or a diversity issue. It was a human issue. A planetary issue. And one that's vital for our survival, and the survival of the planet we call home.
Let's put it this way; you and I are inside a cozy little cabin in the woods. It's simple, with some furniture, a woven rug and a nice fireplace. Sure, it's not luxurious, but it's everything we need. Outside, a fierce winter storm rages, the likes of which we can't survive without shelter. As the days grow shorter, we get impatient with sitting in the dark, so, we decide to burn the rug. Bit by bit, we burn off that nice, cozy rug for a little more light at the end of the day. Then, we decide it's warm in here, but it could be warmer. We look over at our hand crafted chairs, and decide, "what the hell." We break them apart, and toss in the pieces. Now, we are used to the light, and the warmth, and can't imagine living without them. So, we break up our nice table. Then our bed. Looking around the cabin, there's nothing left. So, we take just a few boards from the floor. And then a few more. Soon, we start on the walls. The wind and snow begins to rip through the open spaces, so we burn more to keep warm. Suddenly, with the floor gone, and the walls gone, the roof collapses. We stand there, in the freezing cold with no protection left, and realize we made a serious mistake. A fatal mistake, in the name of instant gratification.
That is what we are doing right now. To our home. To planet Earth.
We seem, for some strange reason, to be deluded into thinking that we are not in outer space. Just by the fact that we call it outer space. We are in it, we are a part of it. And, from what we've seen of what else exists out there, we are an anomaly. We have not found another planet that has the amazing, vast ecosystem and life that we here on Earth do. We are lucky if we find a trace of water, or a scarce bit of atmosphere that might not kill us if we encountered it. Though we have the knowledge that our own planet seems so far to be the only planet that can sustain life as we know it, we don't internalize it. We don't seem to realize that being here, right now, on this spinning mass in the middle of our galaxy, is winning the jackpot.
Instead, we want more. We want more light, more electricity, more cars, more gas, more gadgets, more weapons, more food, more pesticides, more land development. Problem is, just like our cabin, more is never enough. And, just like our cabin, we are dismantling our safe home in order to satisfy an insatiable appetite.
The human species has been pulling things out of the Earth for approximately 43,000 years. We have dug out gold and silver and iron and copper. We have blasted and scorched and flooded our planet for thousands of years. We have pumped water out from the Earth's molten hot inner layers. We have drained oil, to the tune of over 93 million barrels. A day.
So, the question becomes, who the hell knows what we're doing?
The answer? No one.
Not one person on Earth knows what effect this stripping the planet of its biological makeup, the same makeup that created the only atmosphere we can live in, will do. Not one of us has ever done this before. Not one of us has ever lived on a beautiful, Eden like planet, teeming with scores of life of all kinds, and decided we should rip it to pieces. And, no one on Earth can tell us where the tipping point lies. We have become like spoiled children, the ones who think "money grows on trees", and that there is always an endless supply to provide what we want. Well, it doesn't, and there isn't. We right now are betting that our planet has an endless supply of internal resources for us to harvest for our personal use. We are the spoiled children demanding more of a life giving guardian, without being able to see the truth. That nothing is endless. That one day, that 86 millionth barrel that we drain out of the Earth's interior may be the barrel that sets off a cataclysmic chain of events that we have no power to stop.
There may be scientists that claim they know. That claim that we are many years away from running out of resources, just as there are scientists that claim global warming isn't real. Guess what? There use to be scientists that said the world was flat, and you would fall off if you went over the edge. In spite of their certainty, and the fact that everyone believed them, they were wrong. Crazy wrong. But, that wrong doesn't have any repercussions. If the scientists claiming theories as fact today are wrong, we lose everything.
We need to use common sense. We know there is not a resource on Earth, from a mountain spring to our own human bodies, that doesn't have limits. You can drain my blood, to a point. You cross that point, and I die. Everything has a tipping point. Everything has a point where too much is too much. And once that happens, there's no going back.
So, ask the questions. Where do I think all that oil, water, gas is coming from? What do I think happens when a mine drills deep into the Earth's layers, and starts blowing it up? Is that copper, iron, gold, silver necessary for the stable makeup of my planet? If it's not, why was all that rock and sand there in the first place? Open your eyes, look around, and ask the questions for yourself. And of yourself. And then, look for answers.
Read whatever you can on the current state of our planet. Watch informative documentaries that show the current research. Rent Cosmos on Amazon or Netflix. Educate yourself about the most important issue you face today. I know, it may not seem like it. When we have bills to pay, and kids to feed, and families to keep afloat, all this Earth stuff may seem far off and not our problem. Until it is. And, when it is, we may not make it through what's coming. Or our children may not. Or our grandchildren. And, something is coming. When? Where? No one knows. But at the rate we are pulling apart our cabin to light up our Apple watches, odds are sooner rather than later.
So, ask the questions. Search for answers. And then, be prepared to fight for our home. To make the sacrifices necessary to ensure its survival, and the survival of every bit of life on this planet. It's the most important job we will ever have. We must save our home from ourselves.