...sheesh, If You Put It Like That!

I just read in a book, a non-fiction type book, that stated if you took all of the Earth's geological time (roughly 4.5 billion years, give or take a month or two) and divided that by the 6 days of creation you would have days that were 750 million years each in duration. Using this scale the Industrial Revolution would have started one fortieth of a second ago in that last little bit of time at the very end of the sixth day. One fortieth of a second ago out of all that time. We've come a long way fast in 240 or so brief years since then, eh wot? It's like some super sonic exponential thing that I ain't never seen the likes of before. It almost seems we've come too far...and too fast. My thoughts until I read that book were that there was no chance this poor planet was going to last much longer as a going concern. The book's author has given me a new hope that it just might stand a chance. But, it requires a somewhat relatively immediate response on the part of a heck of a lot of people... as of mid August, 2003, roughly six billion three hundred ten million eight hundred one thousand four hundred ninety three (and growing fast!) people. It's humbling...me, making a plea in so few words or less to help save the planet. The phrase "Chicken Little" and images of old bent bearded men in white robes and beards wearing sandwich boards with dire warnings of the end being near flash before my brain's clouded little eye. Well, really now...me.. joining the other 417 known zealots who are trying to do the same? I was much more comfortable when I had completely given up, at least that wasn't so labor intensive. Well then, that being said, just what does saving the planet entail? Hmmmmm? I think it has something to do with the drinking water and bubble packs and emissions of every sort and the waste stream that goes into landfills and stuff like that. It requires almost a separate individual thought for every thing you see, do, feel, touch throughout your waking hours. Did you every wonder about the what's going to happen to that wee little staple that holds the string to the tea bag? Does acid rain hurt our eyes and how do we even stop acid rain anyhow? Can one buy their way around the environmental laws meant to protect us all? (...hahahahahahaha, that age old obvious trick question was thrown in for levity!) If we cut down all the trees, where will our children's oxygen come from? If all the Earth's land is taken up with overpopulation where do people lay down to sleep and where do we plant the seeds that will provide our food. Ah heck, I bet you could come up with a zillion questions of your own. The big question is, what are you gonna do about it? The book is called Mid-Course Correction, by Ray C. Anderson, and I don't think he'd mind me mentioning so here. It deals with a concept called sustainability and it has to do with putting more and better stuff back into that planet that was taken out to make stuff with. It has to do with having the courage to take the responsibility of correcting a lot of things that are not right and adjusting to the outcome, even if it means foregoing a few pleasures, well, maybe a lot of pleasures. As I generally ask around, there aren't a heck of a lot of takers of this necessary sustaining challenge, but a lot of agreers. One way or the other, I think Mother Earth has the means to somehow wipe the proverbial slate clean if she feels we have gotten too far under her skin. Just ask the dinosaurs...or the whale...oops, pardon me...it's us humans that are eliminating the magnificent whale, not Mother Nature...my mistake.

I spent beaucoup years in school. Four years in college and 14 years of night school...and the single most important lesson I learned in all that time was from a not terribly impressionable economics teacher, whose name I know but won't mention here ,who told the class (and I'm sure this came from some classical economics text somewhere), he said, "Everything costs something else". Whew! The most powerful words I have ever heard in my entire life. They have been proven to me over and over and over again, sometime at a cost that was almost to great to pay. If you've got one dollar, you can't get both a Snickers and a Milky Way. If you want a pretty shroud around the central processing unit of you computer, it's going to cost (pick a number to put here) 4032 lbs of raw earth material that does not return to the earth as raw material, but more or less as raw, pollutionary techno-sewage that seeps into our precious aquifers... so on and so forth. Life ending kind of stuff like that. If you're the entrepreneurial type and like a solid challenge, here's a golden opportunity that you shouldn't pass up. If you read this and forget about it half way through the next article, then you prob...


J. Jules Vitali is a sculptor, columnist, moral philosopher and poet who resides in Freeport, Maine. He is the creator of the art form, Styrogami® which can be seen on the web at www.styrogami.com. For the month of September some his work can be seen at the Northport Landing Gallery, Northport, Maine. He is also an Artist in Cellophane (www.artomat.org).