Saturday, June 16, 2007

One Way
Do Not Enter

And yet, the driver piloted his vehicle right down the street into early morning on-coming traffic. Why? He didn't want to drive around the block and stay safe. He didn't mind placing others in danger so he might make his trip home more convenient and shorter.

It is indeed one thing to break the rules when the only one placed in any danger is the one breaking them. It is a different matter when others are placed in danger. This is the world we live. These are our neighbors. These are our friends. These are our worldly cohabitants. At times, these are ourselves.

I have certainly done a few things in my life that placed others in danger. I am not proud of them and I am certainly aware enough to see these opportunities for a failure of personal responsibility. How is it some among us are watchful of these possible failures where others rush headlong into the realm of pushing others into danger?

This is not just a personal failing, but is a failing of our popular society. We would rather see the rainbow today and ignore the oncoming hurricane tomorrow. Immediate gratification while ignoring probable outcomes will only result in failure.

Most Native American cultures did not believe in land ownership. They believed nature and the land were on loan to them; on loan from their children, granted by the Great Spirit. What a powerful concept. All of nature belongs to our children, not ourselves. Perhaps one could extend that belief to time; our time is on loan from our children.

Land ownership is something that is unavoidable in today's American society. How we treat that land and the environment is completely up to us. Treat them poorly and abuse them, and while we may see short term gains, like topping a tree, we are only stunting our growth and causing unseen damage.

Do people not see things breaking in the environment? Then again, maybe things are not breaking. Should we worry about the future and change our behavior and the way we think, or continue down the road we are traveling?

In the logical methodology of Voltaire, this can be broken down and analyzed.

Possible situations:
  1. There is no such thing as global warming or ecological changes. Everything is fine.
  2. The globe is warming and the ecology is changing, but it is a natural cycle of things. Human existence has nothing to do with this.
  3. The globe is warming, the ecology is changing, the environment is on a decline, but this is not part of a normal geo-physical cycle. Humans have caused this.

Possible actions:

  1. Do nothing.
  2. Take action.
1 – Global warming is a Red Herring; it doesn't exist. Doing nothing will change nothing. Taking action against something that does not exist is a waste of effort. One vote for doing nothing.

2 – Global warning is occurring but not due to human habitation. Doing nothing will change nothing. This is an irresponsible act of inaction. Just because you are a passenger in a car careening toward a cliff edge does not mean you should merrily sit by and wait for the end to come. Taking action will minimally show concern and empathy. Ultimately, taking action could improve the entire situation regardless of blame or cause. One vote for taking action.

3 – Global warming is occurring and it is due to human habitation and misuse of natural resources. By all means, a person driving a car should keep it safely on the straight and narrow. If humans have damaged the environment, it is our duty as sentient beings to do what we can to take action. Doing nothing destines us to certain failure as a species. One vote for taking action.

So, given the above style of argument, it cannot be denied that regardless of circumstance, we as sentient humans must take action. Large or small, minute or grandiose, we must do what we can. How can we start? How about not driving the wrong way down a one way street. If you must got the wrong way, the least you can do is walk.

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