I'm beginning to think of the Earth along the lines of my home. After all, I do live on it. In that regard I think the concepts of global warming and pollution have become somewhat lost or diluted to most humans living on this fabulous rock. We've made a bit of a mess, no? How does one deal with a mess in their home?
The first step to cleaning house is admitting that there is a mess in the first place. Complacency is the result of people acquiring a tolerance for inhospitable conditions that they usually would not. Until a situation becomes bad, the status quo or proverbial "bar" is usually lower instead of raised. The first step is admitting you have a problem. Gosh, doesn't that sound familiar?
Once people are aware and nervous about their actions, it is time to assess the damage in relation to what is taking place. If you suddenly came home to discover a sink full of dishes, empty bottles of beer and wine everywhere and confetti and silly hats scattered about, chances are a party of some sort went down. People got a little loose and messy and didn't pick up after themselves. The result of this is that you will not be able to conduct your life normally in these sorts of conditions and must take some action to correct matters.
Earth, the gem of our solar system, the most special life-bearing celestial object (that we know of) is being made a mess. Some individuals see the affects of hundred of years of modern, post-industrial civilization has had on the Earth's ecosystems. Some people's ideas of their relative impact on the planet allow them to easily write off anything they do in their relatively short lifespans. After all, one person cannot do much in the way of fixing or creating a major problem on the scale of our planet's existence. But, the exponential growth of our population and the technology that we have harbored and developed for so long is making a deeper impact on the world than anyone would have ever thought possible 100 years ago.
We have taken carbon based chemicals through various sources and burned them to create energy. That energy has fueled the growth of our societies and our innovation. We as humans discovered fuel and used our big brains with unprecedented foresight to build and maintain scientific marvels that over the course of our existance had never been dreamed of and in a relatively short time.
The point that humans are at currently is causing a shift of paradigm that will almost certainly guide the evolution of what we consider to be progress. Human beings are aware of their existence and of that which surrounds them. We want to continue to live and despite certain death that all of us face at some point in our life, a common sense of legacy is instilled in our biological and societal make up.
All of the carbon based fuels that we have burned are not being naturally processed as they may have been over the course of our Earth's existence. We are putting carbon and other chemicals in the air far faster than our planet is meant to handle. Because of our carbon habits, residual climate change and chemical disturbances are happening in our air, our land, our oceans, our food chains and even in our bodies.
The warnings of scientists and stewards of the land and ocean have been warning us of our ways for decades. Some say that moving away from nature is a move away from what sustains us. Other soothsayers believe that the answer is to live less and reduce carbon emissions and toxic chemical production.
There is also the belief that our damage of the Earth's stasis is too far gone to be fixed by inaction or simply reducing the fuel that we burn. They believe that taking carbon out of the air and restoring biodiversity are intertwined that the only route to a sustainable human presence on the earth is by learning to take care of it and letting it do the same for us.
Waking up with a hangover and a messy home isn't necessarily a message that the parties and fun of your life are over, but that you must take stock in the damage done and the lifestyle that you are living. Being conscious and courteous of your environment, no matter what scale of environment you are thinking of is neccesary to maintain a balanced and healthy life. If the Earth is happy then it shall provide and we will be happy too.