My dear Billy, Climatic change has become the top preoccupation of a great number of people all over the world. Several Heads of States and Governments are meeting in Paris in a couple months to see how to address the issue. However, I have a feeling that it’s a bit late to try to prevent the inevitable. Who has not marvelled at the early morning sun and found inspiration in its golden rays? Or soaked in the rain in wild abandon? Or walked on the silky turf of a garden and been enchanted by the beautiful flowers? Future generations may not be born with such privileges, my dear Billy, because of what man is now doing to nature. Call it his ignorance, his greed, his indifference. It makes no difference. At the end of the day, man has ended up as the only creature endowed with the propensity of destroying his own habitat. Man has devised ingenious ways of maximising the earth’s resources and converting them to his needs by industrial processes. In so doing, he has compelled nature to do two things which are not necessary: he forces the environment to produce more than its usual quota of resources, and to take back an unprecedented quantity of waste products when man and his technology are done with them. To parody the situation, my dear Billy, I’ll tell you that our oceans are getting so polluted, the other day I caught a sardine that was already packed in oil. We are today living in a world where lemonade is made from artificial flavours while furniture polish is made from real lemons. The survival of the world depends on the natural cycle being respected and followed through, so that every creature gives back to nature what he has taken from it. But mankind has interfered with this system. It never gives back to nature what it has taken from it. And we have already started paying the consequences of our greed and selfishness. Nature has its own ways of avenging the wrongs done to it. The current surge of tidal waves sweeping our coastline and the other islands in the Indian Ocean and elsewhere is a vivid signal. Worldwide there have been other natural manifestations, of course – earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, droughts and other calamities have struck many parts of the world with disastrous consequences. While all these phenomena can be scientifically explained and understood, there is also, perhaps, the invisible but very palpable hand of the Almighty. Man has been turning the world more and more into a fertile field for sin, crime and evil doing of all manners. Abominable crimes are perpetrated and each new day that God gives takes its heavy toll of rapes, drugs-trafficking, burglaries and assaults. War, terrorism, violence, destruction, have been let loose. Man has lost his balance, and humanity has vanished. Corruption fills the air, and values have been thrown to the dogs. Worms of anger and greed gnaw at society, while fraud and deceit have become a way of life. The world is now crushed under the weight of hatred, hypocrisy, and double standards. Hindu mythology talks of a time when God was disgusted with man’s behaviour on the earth and annihilated it with a great flood, saving only one person who had been just and kind. Christianity and Islam also recount the days of the Great Flood which God had sent to earth to punish erring mankind. The flood destroyed all except Noah who was advised to construct his legendary ark and to escape on it with a selection of other creatures. Who knows what God may be preparing for us, my dear Billy? Already predicted is the fact that millions of human beings will be displaced in less than 50 years on account of climatic changes. I never like to sound pessimistic, my dear Billy. But I have a feeling that more than any other time in history, mankind is standing on formidable crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness; the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the collective wisdom to choose correctly.
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