EDITOR’S NOTE—We are in the first month of a decade that climate-change watchers feel will be the most critical period in human history as the world grapples with the monumental changes that people increasingly agree are necessary to preserve our planet as a habitable place. The news is crowded with stories of natural disasters that are increasingly frequent and appear to be related to environmental change.
This ongoing column, Climate Change Commentary, will be something of a catch-all for news stories and opinions on this topic over this decade.
It begins this week with a poem penned by Pat Hall, author of Tehkummah Talk and Times and borrowed from this week’s column. Next month, Manitoulin youth climate-change activist Autumn Peltier will be interviewed about her current thinking on the topic after recently attending, with fellow activist Greta Thunberg, the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The moon hung in its silent solitude
Untroubled by the stars in this vast space
And watched the world on its destructive path
With a very troubled look upon his face.
What are they doing there? they heard him say
The earth is fragile, humans, don’t you know?
You can’t destroy what feeds the human heart
Like beauty, forest, lakes and wildlife as you go.
Pollution, I can see from way up here,
Piles up on every feature you possess
As blight and cancers eating at your soul
Your once lovely world is now a mess.
Your wasteful selfish ways it seems the cause
Exploiting all your treasures for the cash
Near your end causes flooding, fire and storms.
Can you not see your path has been quite rash?
From here I see the havoc that you face
Each night I view your chaos from afar
While you go on destroying your own race
You soon will look like me or
Just another empty star.
– Pat Hall
January 19, 2020