It is an important thing to remember, especially when life events seem so huge and everything in our world spins out of control -- we may be small, a cosmic speck in the Universe -- but we can still have an impact.
Lately, I've been feeling overwhelmed by a number of things seemingly beyond my sphere of influence -- climate change and its terrible consequences to humans and the environment, multinational corporate greed, power & lack of accountability (ditto for government), the death of truth at the hands of those who distort, disinform, and blatantly lie with abandon to suit their own interests in the apparent belief that anything repeated often enough becomes truth. And then there's man's inhumanity to man (and animal), as evidenced by brutal genocide, senseless shootings, and condemnation through a whole host of sneaky, hidden agendas, circling back to greed. It's enough to make a mosquito lose hope!
I have put my whole mosquito being into buzzing around these issues, biting where I can, and being as annoyingly persistent as possible, but on the whole feeling completely ineffective and small. Today, for instance, I read in the news that carbon (the main greenhouse, planet-warming gas) has now been measured above 400 ppm (parts per million) at many different places in the Arctic. This is a seriously bad milestone to be passing, and the consequences stretch far into the future, sentencing our children and grandchildren to an inconceivable, and quite possibly irreversible global mess. We are already seeing some pretty devastating weather-related, record-breaking consequences, a frightening preview of coming attractions, as this 400 ppm number climbs ever upward while the underlying coal-and-oil burning engine keeps rolling along in denial, while reaping multi-billion dollar subsidized profits. Too much power & greed concentrated in too few hands -- too little human commonsense, compassion & commitment to ideals that used to guide us. What's a mosquito to do?
I am acutely aware of the coal-burning aspect of the climate crisis as it is trying to move into my backyard, via a new electric coal-burning plant. Rational arguments that using 13 - 16 million gallons of water a day when there is terrible drought, adding more dirty CO2 to the already overburdened air and a whole train load of toxic chemical stew to the ground water in an agricultural area dependent on that water for its very survival, the negative health consequences of increased risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma, the neurotoxic effects of mercury, -- I could go on, but won't. These relevant, reasonable arguments aren't worth a coal ash damn, because the people in power stand to reap a gigantic profit from the transporting and burning of coal. Same for the energy companies mining it (Don't get me started on mountaintop coal removal!!). And the utilities selling the power. The real irony here is that the demand for power has actually been declining, and with conservation, education, investment in renewable energy, and insulation, this power plant would not be needed, ergo, should not be built (at a cost of $2 billion plus!) The community has no say, but has to live with the horrible consequences for the next 40 - 50 years into forever. What insanity is this???
The analogy that comes to mind is the scene in an old-fashioned silent movie melodrama: Picture we common folk as the heroine tied to the tracks in the train tunnel, the light is approaching, we know it's a train about to annihilate us, yet we are immobilized by government-multinational-corporate-coal-burning-greedy dastardly profiteers who worship money above all else. So, is there a hero to this tale of woe? Someone who will swoop in and release us from the bonds of stupid, short-sighted, greed in time to get out of the train's path? This mosquito is not feeling too optimistic about the rescue. I think if we are to be rescued it will be us common folks rescuing ourselves through grassroots activism, community organization, and a mighty swarm of angry mosquitoes. Are you in?
P.S. A ray of hope in this mosquito melodrama has shined forth in the form of a great documentary called, Carbon Nation. It is available for streaming at Netflix and on demand at many different locations (see them on the website). It is a wonderful piece of forward-thinking education and practical ingenuity, showing what we can do with the technology we've already got -- create literally hundreds of thousands of new jobs, a vibrant thriving economy, and reverse the carbon pollution to make our planet a happy place to live. And breathe. And drink the water. Please see it! It turned my head & heart from lowly mosquito despair to powerful possibility!