A friend of mine's neighbor lost his entire colony of bees this spring. The impact was the loss of something like 35,000 bees, all dead because of the lack of food. The colder, rainier season kept the tulip poplars from blooming and the bees starved to death.
When I heard this, somehow I felt the panic of those small creatures so vital to our food supply and so dependent on our actions, especially those that place profit and our own wants and lifestyles over the natural processes of our small blue planet.
Our seasons are changing and our climate around the world is changing as well. Even as my area of Virginia had a cool spring and summer, this was the warmest summer on record across the earth. More and more methane is rising up as the icebergs melt and we drill for natural gas. More and more Carbon Dioxide is being released into our air as we drive our cars and heat our homes using fossil fuels. Fewer and fewer natural forests provide the lungs to help filter out our pollution. We are likely at a tipping point. Until the tipping point occurs and we have run out of time to make significant changes to our behaviors, we can't know for sure however. Unlike the dinosaurs who didn't see the meteor that set off a series of events that changed their climate and caused their demise, we are capable of seeing ours, even as the bees and butterflies feel the impact.
Bees are beautiful creatures. So are polar bears. So are birds and fish. Beautiful oceans and rivers are essential to our life on this planet. Until we recognize that it's the deep, inherent beauty of this earth - ours' included - that needs to be tapped and not more and more gas wells - it seems hard to imagine we will not succumb to the ugliness of our greed and delusion.
This past Sunday (September 21st), over 325,000 people marched down the streets of New York City joining together to say to the world and our policy makers that protecting the deep beauty of our planet Earth matters. We all know the Earth matters. Let's live with the intelligence and creativity required to transform our presence here so that beauty overcomes the alternative.