Sunday, April 23, 2006

A Day to Yawn

Years ago, Earth Day meant something to me and, I think, to many others. But now it has become a gesture as vacant as any other, as evinced by the Day’s political speeches of the world’s greatest polluters. Each week I carry my recycling bin to the edge of the curb and each week I wonder about the point of it all. I'll still do it because it is for me a personal spiritual matter, a private battle against waste, a virtue to pursue, that will likely have no effect past the driveway, only in me, which selfishly suffices. The problem of the "environment" (a word that has also lost meaning) is beyond "doing" something and has returned squarely back to where it started: paradigms against which we are so docile and are unable to change by saving plastic. It is so venous that it covers assumptions so pervasive we can't notice them, let alone think about altering. New is always better than old: that's one assumption, the false sense of progress and its toll on the earth from which "progress" is manufactured and then returned to as refuse that will not decompose for centuries or millennia. The things we invent are far advanced of any ethical discussion, so we’re stuck with things that social and religious intellectuals are forced to scramble around for answers without the benefit of forethought. If humankind can do it (sheer capability) then it must be done with no consideration of lasting impact to the world and its minions. That too is an assumption. Corporate concerns, we now readily admit, must be able to produce profit of “ecological friendly” devices or systems before the earth can derive any benefit from them. Worse yet, Armageddon complexes, so rampant and dangerous, see no value in preserving what will eventually (or quite soon) be obliterated. So the planet is doomed already; just give it morphine and, meanwhile, take what we can of its lands, resources, and beauty, because now the only thing that makes sense is a power-grab that will prepare the fortunate ones for the earth-ending battle. These are all immoralities--corruptions proffered as good, godly, or necessary. Even the “environmentalists,” who speak with verve, go nowhere near the bottom line. So happy Earth Day!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very sad to see and know what's going on in the environment. It's a terrible thing, and what can we do? Are there any environmentalist out there that can answer this question for the laymen?


But more importantly, this is a paradigm about the earth you've chosen to believe, a decidedly negative one. I choose to believe that the earth, like the human body, is amazingly resilient. It can put up with a lot of abuse, and bounce back if given a chance to heal.

Don't think that because you're Muslim and your view is informed but the signs of the end, that this is necessarily what's happening. We really don't know this.

We really dont, but to think we do, is to start guessing about God's intent, about which we also don't know.

One thing that doesnt get covered in the media is the history of pollution. We think it's all bad now, but there was a time where it was worse, so bad that it was in the lungs of infants in early-mid 20th century, until legislations was passed to clean the air, etc. That's made a huge difference on the environment and the longevity of city-dwellers, who are probably now octognenarians. But we don't read about this in the news because it's not as sexy as doom gloom.

Anyway, inshAllah, the world isn't as bad as all that. If you had a relative who smoked all his life and decided to quit in the end, would you feel that it's over for him?

Alhamdulillah God is Great, and i can do my part for this vicegerancy and find comfort in the fact that this is God's world, and He has not foresaken it.

God bless.

4/27/2006 9:29 AM  

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