On Easter, as the coronavirus was rapidly spreading, NPR’s “Weekend All Things Considered” carried excerpts from sermons from across the country. I was particularly touched by the way Presiding Bishop Michael Curry ended his talk at Washington National Cathedral, singing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands. …”It was a powerful close that left me thinking: Just substitute “She” for “He” and you’ve defined the core problem we’re facing. For the first time in the life of our generation of human species, Mother Nature has the whole world in her hands ... (emphasis added).
Friday, June 26, 2020
#178 / Not Exactly, Tommy Boy
Here is Thomas Friedman, the New York Times pundit. He almost gets it right in his recent column titled, "Is Trump Challenging Mother Nature to a Duel?"
Here's my quibble: It's that,"for the first time" language. We all need to wake up to the fact that "Mother Nature" has always had "the whole world in her hands."
Our individual lives, and our human civilization, are ultimately dependent on the Natural World, the world we have personified in the "Mother Nature" of whom we speak from time to time - and most particularly when human obliviousness has become obvious, and the truth about our real situation peeks through.
Our world depends on the Natural World, and the idea that "Mother Nature" will take care of us is a reliable insight. Except when we forget that we need to conform our behavior to what Mother Nature requires. The coronavirus has become a global pandemic largely because we have assumed that we are "global" creatures, entitled to go everywhere, anytime, and have built our civilization on the idea that those who "rule the world," to refer to Noam Chomsky's book, are justified in raiding every nook and cranny of the whole Earth, looking for the resources needed to support our ever more grandiose human ambitions.
And the coronavirus crisis is just the gentle whisperings of Mother Nature. Something much worse is on the way (you can call it "climate change" if you'd like). What's coming will reveal in absolute terms that Mother Nature has always had, and still does have, "the whole world in her hands."
We would be wise to start paying attention.
We would be wise to start doing something about it!