Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fighting the Fire

I'm traveling today, so here is an oldie but a goldie. I was tempted to make a few edits because the piece is over 2 years old, but I didn't.. It's interesting to see what still rings and what doesn't.

Belief Belief

More than 13 years ago

I came back from a UN meeting on Climate Change

all jazzed about the coming Global Treaty on Climate Change.

It was just before the big Earth Conference in Rio.

I did a few interviews on TV and I visited with a few reporters.

I specifically remember visiting with one reporter off the record

about what happens to you when you really do believe

that Climate Change is happening.

Once you truly believe that your generation is making decisions

that will effect all of the generations that follow

and their ability to live on this planet

you begin to, well, take it kind of seriously, I told her.

The reporter just looked at me with one of those looks

that they give when they realize that they are in the presence of a zealot.

One Sunday, many years back, when I lived in the country,

on the edge of a oak and pine forest,

I was outside, probably just trimming a few trees

when I noticed that the light was turning kind of red.

Everything had a funny copper sheen to it.

I looked to the West and thought maybe the sky was a little overcast.

I started walking back into the forest and down the hill.

As I walked through the thick brush,

I began to smell smoke, and then I began to hear it.

It was a forest fire.

It was all around me now and blowing straight toward my house.

My heart leaped out of my chest as I sprung into action.

I ran up to the house, and told my wife to call the fire department.

I got out the sprinklers and started to moisten my house

and the area around it.

I grabbed a shovel and a hoe and I ran back down the hill

to fight the fire.

In a little while, the firemen came with a plow

that turned the earth into a firebreak effectively and quickly.

Another truck came loaded with water.

Within a hour or so, the danger had passed.

My wife believed there was a fire.

The dispatcher believed there was fire.

The firemen believed there was a fire.

And we put out the fire.

We may believe that Climate Change is real.

We may believe that Peak Oil is real.

We may believe that a collapsing dollar is imminent.

We may know that 3 carrier groups are headed for Iran,

and we may believe that a blockade of Iran is imminent.

But do we leap into action to protect our family?

our house,

our home,

and our future?


And that's the reason that they don't believe it either.

Because we don't believe it.

If we did.

We would start the water.

We would call for help.

We would fight the fire.

We would build

an Earthfamily.

We would think of nothing else.

Until the danger had passed.

It's called belief belief.


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