It’s natural. It’s natural for us to mourn the loss of a once-great city like New Orleans. To sympathize with the tens of thousands of people who’ve lost everything, some even their lives. It’s natural for Evangelicals to interpret this as God’s retribution for the Crescent City’s “Sodom and Gommorah” ways.
And hurricanes are natural. They’re getting stronger, too. In fact, think we’ve all noticed, quite anecdotally, that the weather has gotten more and more intense over the last decade. Hotter heat, dryer drys, wetter wets…and bigger, more intense storms. Although there are a few, well-paid scientists who take exception to the overwhelming consensus that climate change is happening and that we, collective humanity, are making is so…it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to note that things are changing.
Glaciers recede, the Larson Ice Shelf shrinks, huge chucks of ice collapse in Antarctica. That’s a lot of water to put into the climate. It’s a lot of water vapor going into the atmosphere. Is there any doubt that it would contribute to storms…to hurricanes?
Sure, a good scientist wants proof, over time and conclusive, before making that connection. But you need only an elementary knowledge to see a corollation. Still, while Europe experiences flood after flood and us more powerful storms, our leaders genuflect to oil lobbyists and laugh off the Kyoto Protocol. They say the science is still out. Perhaps that’s why W doesn’t really want to see the devestation firsthand. Why pass up that photo op a couple days ago? It would’ve spiked his faltering ratings. How strange. Perhaps he wants the science to still be open, perhaps seeing is believing.
On the issue of climate change, W and his oil-energy presidency put fingers in there collective ears and sing “La, La, La, La, La.” Even now, an Oily Congressman is on a witch-hunt to intimidate climate change scientists!
So, do we think this to be God’s payback? It could be…but not for gays cavorting in New Orleans. How about our murderous reign over His creation, the death and radiation we’ve spread over Iraq, the despoiling of his environmental masterpiece and economic policies that liken us to money changers outside the temple? Somehow, Evangelicals read a different Bible than I do, so they’ll miss those connections.
Or is this nature’s payback? It’s interesting that the soft underbelly of our oil culture was taken out. That oil culture is hurting the planet. We swarm over it, like an infection, draining the life blood out of it and then spewing our toxic emissions. The host cannot sustain us, not like this. As a good friend said, we show supreme arrogance in building cities below sea level, and we consume and consume. What have we given back to the planet? Strip mining, acid rain, desertification.
The Earth is a self-correcting system–just ask the dinosaurs. They died, probably cataclysmically, and the Earth adjusted and gave us life…we mammals owe our lives to the Earth’s powerful ability to clean out the past, the detritus. But now we’ve gone too far…our chemicals, our overfed bodies, our toying with the very code of life. We’re even trying to control the ionosphere.
Arrogance. The great classical word was “hubris.” Many a classical hero met his storied fall because of hubris. The planet must fight back against our hubris. Not anthropomorphically like some ancient, petulant child-God, but self-correctively. If we are something of an infection, a parasite…we may be feeling the antibodies bearing down on us. The Earth may be self-correcting us into submission, or completely out of commission. I think we still have a choice. I choose to submit.Tweet