Your Hubble telescope reveals that there are hundreds of billions of
galaxies. Your star and your planet
reside quite remotely on the very outer edge of
your own galaxy, which you quaintly refer to as the "Milky Way;" and to
further emphasize your insignificance in human time and space, it would take you
about 26 thousand light years, which means traveling at 186,000 miles per
second, the speed of light, to reach your galaxy's center.
When you look at the cosmos you are always looking back in time. The
light from your star, your "sun," was issued 8 minutes ago. When you
observe my home galaxy Andromeda, you see it as it was 2 million years
ago. We others, as observers, transcend your limited reality and are
seen by you as theoretical, as are the multiple universes envisioned by
your quantum mechanics theorists. We on the other hand see you as
barbaric creatures, steeped in superstition, destroying each other in
endless rationalized wars and genocides, obsessed with killing machines.
is 4 billion years old, most of it covered over with precious life-giving
water, a planet which evolved gradually to a glorious paradise existing in
what you would consider, a threatening, immeasurable void; yet you are on
the way to ruining it in a matter of decades. You humans are
unmanaged parasites, voracious primates who will ultimately destroy the
nourishing planet which supports you.
which you have too often taken for granted, is a living organism and it is not
well. You mindlessly consume your fossil fuels in power plants and
automobiles, and because of your utter disregard for the consequences, you are issuing greenhouse
gases into your fragile atmosphere, which captures and holds your star's
heat and raises the planet's temperature to a dangerous level.
The increased heat
is warming your seas, which in turn is melting your glaciers and
vast areas of Arctic and Antarctic ice, and in time the ever increasing
release of fresh water into
the salt will kill off undersea species and eventually raise the
oceans enough to swallow island nations and swamp your coastal cities .
As we orbit Earth
we see Greenland ice melting and draining into the sea. Polar ice
refracts the sunlight and sends the energy safely into space. But
when ice reverts to water, the energy is absorbed and accelerates the ice
melt, further raising the sea level. Polar bears drown as they
struggle to reach retreating ice packs. Salmon die off as the
melting permafrost pours mud into the rivers.
This excess carbon dioxide in your atmosphere, which has already lost its
balance, has also caused record heat waves. Your last year was the
hottest in more than an
century. Drier land masses cause droughts which destroy harvests,
cause fires which destroy trees, and trees are needed to convert carbon
dioxide into oxygen.
You are fast approaching what your scientists have been calling "the
tipping point," at which time habitats may crash, causing the loss of
flora and fauna, causing drastic climate changes from moderate to ice age
temperatures, from lush green to desert wasteland. Your eco system
is being pushed to the limit of it's ability to mend itself. If
your planet had an actual voice it would scream in protest. In an
absence of this voice it will express itself with hurricanes,
tornados, floods and fires, in greater size and numbers.
Some will tell you that what is happening is merely part of the natural
cycle of the planet, just one of many changes, drastic as it may seem. But
even if this were so, if you persist in issuing high levels of carbon
dioxide into your atmosphere, any negative climate alterations, natural or
otherwise, will be "tipped" and accelerated and will seriously
damage your way of life. Remember this: in past ice ages there were
far fewer inhabitants on
fewer great cities to be disrupted, and fewer coastal developments to be
swallowed by the seas.
Human injury and death and migration will overwhelm any nation's ability
to cope. Most of what you have valued may disappear.
As I implied earlier, my species time travels with ease, so we have seen
your past, and we have seen your future. We have seen many human
civilizations flourish and disappear, become mere dust in the the
leaving behind a few relics for you to study and learn from; though from
what we have seen of your kind, you absorb little from history and
consequently you live very dangerously in the immediate moment, and
therefore you reside at the edge of disaster.
Unfortunately, you have been slow witted and easily led by those in power,
those greed-driven humans who are motivated solely by what they can
acquire for themselves, with little thought to what is good for your
species as a whole; governing you, sometimes employing you,
misleading you into believing what is not true, that science is wrong;
then cleverly dividing you politically and culturally as a distraction,
causing you to fight amongst yourselves over unimportant issues
while your planet sickens.
Your scientists who are only now finding their collective voice, have been
silenced for years by your unscrupulous governors. Listen carefully
to what your scientists tell you of your precarious future. You do
not have centuries to reform. You have years. Your gradual evolution
over eons of time must convert to a sudden and revolutionary change in
I remind you: As consuming parasites on a tiny but beautiful planet
which we others so admire, you are merely a temporary curiosity to us.
And you are completely, remotely, alone.
I'm here with you.
Text and artwork
Of Global Warming
me: Martin J. Ryan
But My Current Book
Fight Global Warming
Earth Institute Columbia University
CBS News: Brazil Oil Free