Thursday, May 27, 2010

The World We Hand You

Oil pours from the ocean floor. Trees are stripped from mountains once teeming with growth and wildlife that resided in the branches, hid in the darkness of a forest. Plastic bottles and nets float in our ocean snagging the creatures who have known this home from the beginning of time. Lack of food source, disappearing glaciers, those who hunt and still think they have a right to take from the earth, create a growing list of extinct animals. Where does it stop?

The drive from Portland to the Pacific Ocean is a drive through nature paradise. Deep forests line the highway, a highway that was designed to do as little to nature as possible. Once I saw an elk and her baby standing next to the road. At places the rambling stream can be seen rushing over rocks. Logging roads meander off away from the road into the depths of the forest. Coming once more to the beach, an Oregon shoreline protected from Astoria to the California border.

Part of the scene in the drive to the coast includes patches of lumber taken from the forest creating bald strips across the landscape. Yes, as the lumber is taken, new trees are planted to preserve the forests. The view was different this time. I stood on the balcony overlooking the coastal range. The hills were nude, raped of the timber that had so beautifully graced their peaks and valleys. The only deep forest I could see was on the cape.

Last week two whales washed up on our sandy beaches. One was a baby. Cause of death is still unknown. The calf was bleached white. They both had signs of starvation.

When I was a child, we played in the trees, drank fresh water and didn’t know anything about ecology, about recycling, about saving our planet. We hoped to have our children live and thrive before the end of the world came about some thousands of years away. We wondered if we would live to see the year 2000.

Some people do not believe in climate change. They still believe that despite the signs, we will continue to survive a normal world. They believe that there is no change, only people trying to scare us. No arguing will change their minds. They will still cut down trees to build homes and corporations while many stand empty. They will still use pesticides. They will still justify their passions, the passions that scar and injure and destroy.

I am a mother and a grandmother. What is going to be left for my family? I know I have talked about this in the past, but seeing mile after mile of raped forest, knowing that the mighty whale (mammals of the sea) are dying by our hands, traveling from Florida to Indiana seeing hill after hill of buried trash, scares the dickens out of me.

No answers here, only regret and concern. How do we explain this to our grandchildren? The beautiful earth that was handed to us will be passed on along with the problem, the changes. I have no answers only apologies to my children for the world we hand you.

1 comment:

  1. The cutting of the old-growth forests especially tears at my soul. I've read all the literature about reforestation, but I've also seen the little tree farms that they plant after they've cut down the magnificent trees. Just ain't the same thing!