Bucks County Herald

Camille Granito Mancuso: Chatterbox

A necessary look

Today, I saw the last few minutes of a movie I’ve never seen before. It was a guy film, a western; they make me thirsty.

Anyway, the end is filmed at Hot Creek in Inyo National Park, California. It only served to reaffirm to me that our world is a beautiful place; it simply came that way.

The river asks for nothing. Its water, cool and clear, followed its path over the rocks, all part of helping to sustain Earth and life on it. The journey of the world’s water far exceeds falling and rising again. The complicated process keeps our planet flourishing and keeps us alive but water is merely one part of the planet’s complicated processes. The processes don’t need us. We need them. Even with all it yields, the world remains beautiful as it supports life. It asks little of us to do so. We need to be more aware of our impact on it and to do more to tend to it.

It confuses many, including me, how some people can look at any river, or any natural resources, and all their critical importance, and care only what financial benefit can be gotten from it. Even as our planet cooks, profiteers misuse it, punish it, ignore it, choke it, reroute it, pollute it and watch it disappear; it’s idiocy. Dollars won’t protect anyone when the planet can no longer sustain us, and there is nowhere else to go. This planet is all we have to sustain all life, and the survival of this planet is imperative to the survival of all life.

One day, if we manage to sustain ourselves long enough, humans just might establish self-supporting colonies on other planets but, putting it as briefly and simply as possible, that won’t be easily done, easily maintained, or be a natural life for humans – not to mention it’s a long way off.

Many of us wonder how people can deny climate change, believing that thousands of the most brilliant scientists in this field from around the world are wrong. Suppose that even a scant four top oncologists told even one of them that he, or she, had brain cancer. We can only wonder if that skeptic would ignore the information, defer intervention, and refuse to accept the need for a cure.

In 2006, former presidential candidate Al Gore’s climate change campaign was documented on film. Gore stuck out his neck, campaigning to bring “global warming” to the forefront of an American/worldwide conversation. Many countries around the world were already talking about it, looking into it, even working to reduce or prevent it, but many people, at that time, chuckled. It was unpopular and bold information at the time. Gore’s film title expressed the information’s greatest weight. It was, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Indeed, it was used to shine a light on what was coming at us; that, believe it or not, like it or not, and as inconvenient as it is, climate change is a truth. True then; truer now.

Like so many things which have, and will, impact us, many Americans are still chuckling at climate change.

Today, the evidence is much clearer but environmentally invasive businesses launch costly campaigns to discredit it, or at least, muddy it.

While working to inform people about climate change, Gore often quoted Upton Sinclair who wrote, “It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” That goes millions of times over where corporate profit is measured.

It is, however, much harder to understand how anyone can deny the obvious when their life depends on it.

One can only wonder if those who refuse to accept the science and defy the evidence do so because is too difficult to understand, really is just too inconvenient or too frightening, or because it seems just too far-fetched.

Still, there was a time when we would never have believed that people would, some day, spend months at a time underwater in a submarine, breathe underwater with scuba gear, see inside someone’s body with X-rays, or discover how bacteria invisible to the naked eye could kill someone – or save someone.

When our planet and its atmosphere can no longer do its part for us, it will no longer sustain us.The climate change deniers will not perish alone; they will only perish enlightened.

Hopefully, before it’s too late, we will all agree that it never was a laughing matter.

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