600 Meters to Life

Watching the Chilean miners being rescued earlier this month, I couldn’t help, being amazed in how quickly the rescue transpired and was carried out with such precision and timing. Let’s face it, these guys were trapped 200 stories below us, in an area well renowned for its frequent rock slides and tricky terrain.

In the early stages of the accident, the notion of rescue seemed a daunting and somewhat improbable undertaking.  So what was it that changed the impossible to the possible? The answer to that question is simple. The precibus, it’s only at the precibus that man truly changes, adapts, and finds solutions to change the impossible to the possible. The accident brought out our best when we were faced with our worst.

I couldn’t help but ponder. If we as a collective people can pool our resources and knowledge together to facilitate a means to free 33 miners that were trapped 600 meters below, what’s stopping us from saving 6,876,400,000 of our fellow brethren, preserving the health of our biosphere and protecting its renewable and nonrenewable resources? We had plenty of lead time, didn’t we? Do you think the miners would venture below if they knew that there was a 99.9% chance they would perish? With those kinds of odds, I think not.

In 1992, 1,700 of the world’s most senior and respected scientists from seventy one countries, including 104 noble prize winners, signed a document called “World Scientists Warning to Humanity”. Here’s an excerpt from their shocking opening statement.

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If left unchecked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society…and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.  A great change in our in our stewardship of the earth and life on it, is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided”.

This is a powerfully frightening message, especially considering that scientists of such high stature do not readily make or sign such strongly worded statements.

So if we were warned 18 years ago about the consequences of our actions and their outcome, what’s the holdup?

In a few words, capitalism, free enterprise, the economy, markets, big oil and the government. When it comes down to push and shove, growth of the economy is king in our part of the world, we just had to sacrifice a few minor (major) things (of value), such as air, forests, oceans and our entire ecosystem. No biggie (major big)

A former Canadian Environment Minister once said “We can’t afford to protect the environment, if we don’t have a strong economy”. Huh! Say What! Maybe his title was “Economic Minister”?

Our lives and future existence is absolutely dependent on clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy and biodiversity, without them we will sicken and die. Yet our economy is built on extracting raw materials from the biosphere and pouring toxic wastes back into it. Disregarding nature and her resources is ultimately suicidal.

The tragedy and the opportunity is that if done properly and with respect, many renewable resources can be harvested indefinitely, and many of our nonrenewable resources can be properly managed for years to come.

It’s been said that, it takes 1.3 years to regenerate those renewable resources that we consume in a one year period. At that rate we are in serious jeopardy of squandering even those resources forever.

To put this all in perspective, if we are deprived of air for a few minutes, water for a few days, or food for a few weeks, we perish. Tainted with toxic chemicals those same life supporting elements cause us to sicken and die.

We face a crisis today like no other in human history, it knows no borders or flags and doesn’t care about skin color or religion, every aspect of our planet is interconnected, everything we do effects something or someone else, not only close to home but also on other continents.

Without a doubt this is our precibus, the question is, “Is it our best when we were faced with our worst”, or is it, “At our worst when faced with the opportunity to do our best”.

I think the latter.

By: Master Tim Bell

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One Response

  1. […] am – Wrote a new blog post – HERE 44.637534 […]

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