“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring…”(National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2009)
Leonardo Dicaprio cited in his movie/ documentary “Before the Flood” that we are the ‘last best hope of Earth’. As the smartest organisms on this land, we are tasked to do what is most needed in order for us to survive: to take part in saving the Earth and prolong the life of the soil we stand on. But then, through the years, we start to become too comfortable, just like in our own skin. The world ages, and it’s rapidly changing due to the fact that those who dwell on it don’t take care of it, thinking that this land will always be here. Now, some say it’s too late to save this land, to save this Earth, optimistic people think the other way. Looking at the way it looks today, is it actually possible to save the Earth? Or is already a hopeless situation?
Scientifically, the world could be saved. However, statistics show that temperatures are having worse anomalies year by year, and that’s not just a report from a company, but the companies who are involved in checking temperatures and so (e.g. NASA, Hadley Center/ Climatic Research Unit, NOAA or National Center for Environmental Information). Aside from that, there’s also the greenhouse effect, which, they think, is the main reason for global change. It is said that we cannot blame the irradiance of the sun, because if it was the sun’s fault, then why is there no cooling in the lower hemisphere? It has to be the greenhouse effect, they say, because “If the warming were caused by a more active sun, then scientists would expect to see warmer temperatures in all layers of the atmosphere. Instead, they have observed a cooling in the upper atmosphere, and a warming at the surface and in the lower parts of the atmosphere. That’s because greenhouse gases are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere.” (NASA, 2009) The Earth is deteriorating unescapably. But then, those scientists who think that the Earth can still be saved think of geo-engineering projects as the last-but not best- hope for mankind. They are starting to have a lot of ideas in mind, from ocean pumps to sulphur blankets in the sky, they try to create technological fixations, each trying to save the world from global warming, each trying to reduce the energy released in to the atmosphere to either prolong the life of the Earth or to totally save it. If you ask geo-engineers, they’d say “The only hope is to change the planet, alter its oceans and reshape its cloud cover.” (McKie et.al, 2007) That would take much, not to mention that it would result in total change for the Earth, we might as well not call it Earth at that time anymore. Scientists have been proposing ideas today, but upon reading it, it scares me to think that there is a possibility but, in return, we’d have to experience more acid rains, less marine life, and major global commitment. I’d rather die than help more in destroying the Earth. You see, science really has its limitations. Let’s say the creations that would ‘save the Earth’ are already launched and being used, what happens next? We still get to experience its consequences; the Earth would still be damaged. Yes, it could be possible, but I believe that it’s only to prolong the lifespan of the very place we live on. Science can’t deny the ageing of the Earth, but it believes that there is still a chance that the world can be saved.
If we look at this in a biblical perspective, Christians would say that the world can’t be saved. It will inevitably end, since it is said that this is not our home, and that Jesus has prepared a home for us in heaven. In addition to that, what is happening right now seems like before, in the building of the Tower of Babel, when people wanted power and fame by building a structure that would ‘reach the heavens’ and make them known all over the world (Genesis 11:4-9). People are starting to create ideas for themselves and long for immense power and fame. God is great, God is merciful, yes, but it is in His great plan that the world has to be destroyed first in order for Him to make certain that peace will follow next. Aside from that, there are prophesies ever since that the world will eventually come to an end, so yes, in biblical terms, the world will eventually fade, but our God never will (Matthew 24:35)
As for philosophers, they are a bit skeptic about it. They would say, though, that “The destruction of the natural world is not the result of global capitalism, industrialization, Western civilization, or any flaw in human institutions. It is a consequence of the evolutionary success of an exceptionally rapacious primate.” (Gray, 2005) Other philosophers would say that the Earth cannot be saved anymore, and the humans are to blame for being the smartest living thing. We only have to have our faith in the unclear future, he says, because it’s too late, now that the humans’ evolution is a success. As for those who still have faith in mankind, they’d say it depends on us. “It’s entirely up to us. If we fail — if we blow up or degrade the biosphere so bad it can no longer sustain us — nature will merely shrug and conclude that letting apes run the laboratory was fun for a while but in the end a bad idea.” (Wright, 2004). Other philosophers such as Val Plumwood would say that maybe, if the world constructs new principles when it comes to ethics, and maybe, if those new set of ethics would bring harmony to the world, then and only then can the world be saved, or perhaps avoid the devastation that’s facing us on a worldwide scale.
It depends on us. What can we do to save the Earth? Or if not, prolong its life? Cliché as it may sound, but the little things work. Biking to school instead of riding vehicles could help reduce the emission of gases by 1500kg. Throwing wastes properly can reduce pollution. You’ve heard these things before. We know that we can’t totally prevent the deterioration of the Earth, but at least we can have the will to not contribute to its destruction. I hope that we’d have the determination of the scientists, the faith of the Christians, and the self-awareness of the philosophers to act maturely and help in healing the place we live in.