We, The Humans…
05 September 2020
Time: 05:00 AM
Dear Mount Rainier
I have read the optimistic phrase “Silver Lining”, but never got a chance to experience or feel it. Similarly, I have been searching and looking for you from hundreds of miles away every day. You have been my physical source of optimism for last few months, but like the phrase, I never knew how would it feel to actually meet you here. While driving to meet you last night, I was relishing my journey through the dark roads seeing uncountable stars, animals crossing the road and skyscraper-tall trees. One turn on road and a bright streak of light flashed before my eyes. Was it a shooting star? Someone flashing light? Laser? My hallucination? — It turned out to be you.
During my long walks, I could see a wide range of trees, plants, flowers, water bodies, all kinds of animals from chipmunks and goats to insects and flies, everyone welcoming another day with you. You are “the home” to all these species. To add on, you also let us humans visit as guests, do star gazing, witness sunrises and sunsets, and have some speechless experiences. You are not just a mountain or a volcano — you are the habitat.
In the world where differences, divisions and cracks seem to widening, you unite us all. As the reflection of moonlight from your snow flashed as bright as silver, metaphorically, you are the silver lining.
A thankful human
A week back when I was expressing my feelings, I was feeling quite optimistic and upbeat about existence of such habitats, our planet and us. I was not aware of the dire immediate future. The news of California fires and hazardous air quality in the entire west coast of North America continent has choked my optimism and made me realize how delicate silver linings are.
43 years back in 1977, we proudly considered ourselves a specie of Planet Earth during the Golden record of Voyager Mission where the diversity of life and culture on Earth was portrayed in a spacecraft for interstellar civilizations.
Back in 1992, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was formed, but has anything changed since those golden days, apart from agreements which are being signed by all countries?
“We, The People..” — This phrase is how Constitution Preambles of many countries begin with. We take a lot of pride in being citizens of our countries, we celebrate its nation days, read about it, and work for its development. But when was the last time we put in similar efforts for our planet Earth?
Reminder: We have 190+ countries, but we got only 1 planet.
“We, The People” have lost 900,000+ of us in 2020 because of a virus, and we are justifiably, sad. Are we sad for losing out millions of lives (trees, animals and other species) in just one week?
“We, The People” are pushing out our extreme efforts and money to get a vaccine so that we don’t lose more humans. How much are we doing and spending to save all species, and our planet?
“We, The People” are sad because we are forced to stay inside our homes to be safe. Have we ever thought about those whose only homes are burning because of us?
We know how real climate change is. We do not need to go anywhere to witness it. Just look for visuals of fires in Australia and Amazon rain forest, visuals of melting glaciers around the Arctic and Antarctica, and visuals of humans suffering too.
“Climate change knows no borders. It will not stop before the Pacific Islands and the whole of the international community here has to shoulder a responsibility to bring about sustainable development.”
— Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany
One thing is for sure. Whatever things we are trying IS NOT ENOUGH. Not only we, as a specie, but as individuals, some parts of us might still be in denial.
As an individual when I took responsibility for this destruction, and I have never felt so helpless and depressed ever. Not because I feel I cannot do anything, but because I have not done anything till now. I have been taught about pollution, greenhouse gases and global warming long way back in childhood, but since then all I have done is live in denial.
“Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope, but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
— Greta Thunberg
Digging into various studies, papers and talks this past week gave me hope that solutions are still possible. The bare minimum we can do now is give our best and prevent the worst.
- Transportation ? — Let us go electric, or just stop it to the maximum.
- Meat Industry?— Let us go vegan
- Coal and fossil fuels? — Let us switch to renewable sources first.
- Any other reason? — Find alternative, else let us not do it.
For every thing we avoid, we already have an alternative. For every extreme step we take, we will be giving life to a specie, and preserving home of another specie.
We cannot expect all 7.5 billion people to give their best, and even if they did there is a high risk of failure — but does that mean we cannot even try?
“This is what I believe to be true. You have to do everything you can. You have to work your hardest. And if you do, if you stay positive, then you have a shot at a silver lining.”
― Bradley Cooper, Silver Lining Playbook
As metaphoric as it may seem, maybe we, humans have to become the Mount Rainier for all other species. We have to stand tall against all problems, be inclusive to all species and be the silver lining for others. For this, just like a nation’s constitution, we need our planet’s constitution.
“We, the People of country …” need “We, the Humans of Planet Earth”