Ron Arruda
Retired Botanical Garden Curator
Santa Cruz, California, United States

Dear Future (if Any)

“Maybe they'll be dead by the time it really hits, I imagine them thinking, and they may be right.”

October 22, 2015

Dear People (if Any) of the Future,

Well, here's a chance to stretch a little and predict what may come, as the world rotates into the heat of its man-made exhaust. We sure have had a hot year here on the Central Coast of California, a good trigger for speculation.

Most people with any clout say they don't believe a word of our responsibility for global climate change. It's a posture more than a lack of belief I would say. More clear is that it's in the interest of many people to deny any problem of the sort. Maybe they'll be dead by the time it really hits, I imagine them thinking, and they may be right. But do they think this lets them off the hook? This “Aprés moi, le Deluge!” Fie on them!

Part of what you hear these days points to mankind as having only a negligible effect on his environment, one easily absorbed by Mother Nature's Deep Pockets. Many of the people who feel that way also feel, without irony, that Mankind is Master of the Universe, which is his to do with as he pleases, by Divine Right let's say. Has this paradox not jarred on the nerves of those who profess both things? If only!

One hates to trot out the Military Industrial Complex yet again as the bogey man, one who dresses up and keeps his nails clean, but if you just think Money Money Money, the handwriting is on the wall, as plain as day.

What might come out of the upcoming Paris Conference on Climate Change? It's hard to be optimistic, given the history of foot-dragging and outright obfuscation thrown up at every turn over the years. Maybe we just have to change minds one at a time, person-to-person, like by writing a letter.

Good Luck and God Bless!

Ron Arruda
Santa Cruz California