The Earth is on Hospice

This morning when I woke up the first conversation of the day was about the pandemic. My partner Nancy was wondering if she should take back her downtown office or stay virtual. With the Delta variant of COVID so much is unknown.

At the end of our conversation, I said, “If we didn’t have the pandemic happening right now what do you think we’d be talking about?”

“Climate change,” she said.

Duh. Of course that’s what we’d be talking about. Through all of this mayhem that’s afflicting humanity on our planet —  the sickness, the death, the polarizing vax-anti-vax strife ripping apart families and communities — the very planet we are living on is dying.

We are back to a place of deep worry and fear about COVID. Our focus is there again — masking, distancing, getting vaccinated, or getting a booster. But while all of this is happening, in the background, the earth is on a respirator. I fear that we are beyond a cure for our beloved planet. The damage has been done and we continue to do it.

During the first wave of the pandemic, I was among the group of people who believed that the grounding of humanity was a good thing for the earth. Our carbon emissions dropped. Pollution to our waterways decreased. Tourism dwindled, helping ecosystems recover.

I wondered if the pandemic was our planet’s way of yelling at us humans, metaphorically and literally punishing us by sending us to our rooms and keeping us there until we shaped up. I hoped that maybe this virus was an indirect message to us all that would help us change the course of climate change. But has it?

In the last several years my family has gotten solar power, water cisterns, and an electric car. We’ve subscribed to an additional service that recycles items our local utilities cannot. We’ve stopped buying red meat. We’re trying everything we can to do our part. And I know so many other people are doing the same thing. I know there is good energy and focus going towards curbing the environmental devastation of the earth, but still, it’s not enough.

The earth is on hospice. All the signs are there — the weather patterns, the fires and floods, and hurricanes and tornadoes, the extinction of animals. Our planet is sick and crying for help and more and more the research is saying that it may be too late. The earth is on hospice, in its final years.