Message no. 496[Branch from no. 492] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on
Hi Pat, Nice job of blending and linking chapter 4 and chapter 13 together -- you really stitched those parts of our text together well! My wife and I were moved by Britteny's story and website. We recently lost a young family member who was an ardent environmentalist who loved hiking and was studying environmental science in the tranquil town of
The big question we have posed to the foundation, as members of the board of directors, is "Are we trying to 'save the environment' or trying to create and/or preserve SAFE ENVIRONMENTS? My brand of environmentalism is about maintaining and fostering safe environments. I value many wilderness areas because I believe the infinite wisdom of God in creating the evolution of intricate ecosystem processes has led to stable and benign environments that are healthy and safe for us and other living creatures.
You may have read about the "GAIA Hypothesis" in your text book -- the idea that the earth is a self-regulating living system. The complexities of co-evolution are astounding, and I think we interfere with and mess with those processes at our peril!
So my motto is not "we need to save the world" but "we need to keep the world safe". Think about about it -- the earth is the ONLY PLANET in our vast solar system capable of supporting complex life forms (yeah, there may be some bacteria in the frigid soils of Mars or the moons of Saturn or Jupiter -- though even that is doubtful -- but to sustain large life forms like us we would have to look for planets with an optimal temperature and chemistry, and we can't find any at all within our galactic neighborhood. So the earth real is the only safe place, and we should keep it safe.
I thus propose we change the slogan SAVE THE EARTH to SAFE: THE EARTH. KEEP IT THAT WAY.
Michelle believed in this too, and the tragedy of her death, like that of Britteny, is that we are not acting in ways that keep the environment safe for living beings. That, I believe, should be our common cause.
Thanks for sharing that.
P.S. -- I also worked in a call center, when I first moved to
We modelled our classroom after the Biosphere II experiment in
The Biospherians tried to create a SAFE ENVIRONMENT for life here on earth that could be replicated in a hostile environment like that of the moon or mars or, God forbid, used if we have a nuclear or chemical or biological holocaust. As a teacher for NASA I had a chance to go inside and meet the biospherians before they sealed the experimental facility. It was fantastic, though they were unable to keep it safe and healthy for longer than two years because of problems with oxygen depletion and with pollination and insect population problems. Still it was a start at understanding how to make a safe environment sustainable.
More on this topic to come!