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Global Warming Makes Me Feel the Way I Did When My Dad Had Cancer

D uring the three years my dad lived with incurable cancer, I tried not to be afraid.  But, at the same time, I couldn't let myself drift into denial.  I was the one whose job it was to find clinical trials, look for new treatments, talk to doctors -- anything to try to keep him alive.  I spent hours and hours on the computer, trying to find something that would give my family hope.  It was hard to keep trying.  Because I knew, I had known from the beginning that he wasn't going to make it, no matter what I did.  Just three weeks after he was diagnosed, I found a retrospective study that showed that no one, not one person in all the case records they had found, had survived this cancer more than five years. 

Sometimes, I would find myself drifting into denial. Hey, let's not think about it.  Forget the cancer newsgroups tonight.  Don't bother with checking clinicaltrials.gov.  But then there would be that tight lump of fear in my chest.

My dad's been gone for a long while now.  When my dad died, I was very sad, but I was also relieved.  He wasn't suffering any longer.  And I no longer had that lump of fear 

But now the fear is back.   James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, says there will be less than a billion people on Earth in 90 year's time.  Wildlife and whole ecosystems will vanish...   Polar ice is melting faster than scientists had anticipated.  Polar bears are drowning.  The glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro are disappearing.  That will mean drought and death for the elephant orphans I love so much in Tsavo National Park. 

It's like having cancer.  I'm afraid the years ahead will be ones of pain, loss, and sorrow.  Each animal extinction will be a death knell for me.  Polar bears, penguins, tigers, gorillas... The large mammals will go first.  Then birds, amphibians, whales, fish, coral reefs.  And trees!  We will lose so many beautiful trees.

I am tired of being afraid alone.  I need to be with other people who are afraid of this, and who are willing to admit that they are afraid. 

msgaia msgaia 46-50 7 Responses Mar 19, 2009

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Sorry to hear all this but I can't join your forces.<br />
First, because I'm a lousy follower.<br />
Second, I'm not afraid.<br />
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I'm sad and disappointed in humanity.<br />
To take the words from a few pocketfilling scientists and corporations over the importance of humans but mostly because they decide for everything that has no human voice.<br />
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All the lengthy rapports contradicting each other made reason and right speech (one of the Eightfold Path) disappear and excluded humanity as a whole from the discussion as if it is theirs to own.<br />
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This is our mistake and we'll be judged for it. No matter how much you may pray or deny God.<br />
But Karma will have it's way.

You don't have to be afraid by yourself. I completely agree with what you are saying and I do believe the Earth is alive.<br />
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The cancer that plagues Earth, has infected human thought. People, even when faced with past histories of men driving themselves to extinction (ie. Easter Island), can't see themselves for what they are. They discount logic and reason.<br />
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But you should be proud that you did not deny, and were strong enough to face the truth. And you are not alone.

For me, it seems to be a mixed bag. Al Gore pleads for the extinction of millions of humans to make more room for other animals. That seems wacky to me. Wars have killed off millions but people keep having babies they can't feed. Yet, do I have a right or does a government like China have a right to stop people from having children? We all are living longer so if we only had replacement level of children the world would double in our life time. There are lots of land and resources but they are poorly distributed because of greed and stupidity. It takes, I think, 60 pounds of feed to generate one pound of steak. If so, that seems wasteful. OK, so I prefer to be a vegetarian. I still believe in your right to pay $100 a pound for steak and the profit from that would go to wildlife preserves, run by me? Sounds like a plan I could get behind. Now, to find a place where there are lots of animals that no one is killing each other over religion or ethnicity. Oops, can't find one.

The fact here is that many people are still in the denial phase and will probably remain so long past the time where action of any kind will be too late.<br />
I fully agree with your assessment Msgaia.<br />
I was there for the first Earth Day and have been advocating for Zero Population Growth , saving all species that are endangered, slowing global warming, promoting alternative energies, reducing plactics in the environment and the list goes on and on.<br />
Please take a look at my blogs and stories.<br />
I will be adding you as a favorite... I hope the gesture is recriporcated.<br />
I am here less than I use to be but when I am I am writing about the environment.<br />
I would be honored to call you my friend.<br />
<br />
FEED THE BEES !!!<br />
ROCK THE PLANET !!!

Hey,<br />
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Gaia Hypothesis - that's the theory on Earth being a living organism isn't it? I bought the book second hand from the library but never got around to reading it.<br />
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It is such a shame when we hear of the extinctions, melting ice sheets and personal stories from representatives from countries in the international forums.<br />
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And I, like you believe that the world's populations are in for some huge changes. I can not see how anyone can deny the weather systems and subsequent unheavals all people around the world are having to deal with.<br />
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There are so many still denying these events that no-one seems to be planning for the inevitable. There will be severe flooding, severe draughts and increased water levels. <br />
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There will be breakdowns within each societies structures, possibly felt more accutely in the more developed countries who have, lets face it, been spoilt.<br />
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I firmly believe there will be no global community in the future. <br />
<br />
I fear for my daughter and her children should she have any, we can be thankful though that each generation will only be able to know their own experiences, and will not be aware more than a generation or two back, should the worst happen.<br />
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And remember, believe that Earth is an organism in it's own right or not, the Earth itself will not be destroyed. Life has been obliterated by upto 90 % in past catastrophes and yet look at all the wonderful life forms we have now.<br />
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And if humans happen to survive, which I firmly believe we will, we can repopulate the planet again, and possibly, just possibly with a more healthy approach to our environment.<br />
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I don't know whether we have caused this situation (I believe we have, considering the green house gases emitted into the atmosphere since industry took hold) and if we have, we have merely followed the natural though destructive path of our own evolution.<br />
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Of course this doesn't help any of us feel better now.<br />
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And of course, we could be wrong, just as Silver01ta says.<br />
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All we can do is to try and do our own small bits, recycle, walk more etc.<br />
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I am glad to be in this forum.

Sorry about your dad and cancer....<br />
<br />
but this is apples and oranges.<br />
<br />
Your dad HAD cancer. The earth does not have cancer. Your fear is based on a hypothesis from one man. Geophysicists cant even make that bold of a prediction with all the mathematical simulations at their disposal. <br />
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The earth has plenty of time. <br />
<br />
Sorry to dissappoint... but there will be 10+ billion people in 90 years... <br />
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The bigger problem is what do with all of them.

What a beautiful poignant story. I'm sorry about your dad. There's nothing worse than the helplessness one feels in these situations. <br />
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I'm JojoWazoo and I share your fear. I fear about many things but mostly I fear about the world we're leaving my children and grandchildren. We are supposed to leave things better than we found them. Corruption, apathy and GREED has taken us down this path and the more I wrote about it here, the more people write back telling me I listen to junk science and don't know what I'm talking about. I know what's happening. I read many, many articles about what's happening. Scientific articles. I know what's happening. The progression of my asthma tells me what's happening. When we see the droughts and the coming water wars and the pollution of the water I know what's happening. When I hear people not caring about the extinction of another beautiful loving creature, I know what's happening. Let's share this together and with as many people as we can. We know the naysayers but somehow, we will get others to see too.