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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Strong Words on Climate Change and the Meaning of Life

Author: Guest Writer/Monday, January 21, 2013/Categories: Uncategorized

It’s doubtful that, regarding climate change, any more forceful words were ever spoken on a grander stage than they were today. The re-inaugurated president reminded us that we can’t just live for ourselves, but that we’re obligated to do our best for generations that come after.

We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But American cannot resist this transition. We must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries. We must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure, our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

Those last two sentences are the most powerful.

It’s hard to remember a person with such power so clearly state that fighting climate change will not only help our economy and save lives, but that it has a spiritual, moral, existential and ontological dimension. That it can lend meaning to the most cherished words handed down to us. That fighting climate change connects us both to the past and the future.

Any hope we might have of finding meaning or purpose in our lives is sure to lie in our ability to join with something greater than ourselves, to link up our own small powers with something greater, whether family, God, country, an idea or even just one other person. Living only for yourself, making no impact on anything else, is almost the definition of meaninglessness.

The president, and many others who are calling for us to pay better attention to the natural world we are a part of is offering us a chance to find meaning in our lives.

Here’s the speech. The bit on climate change starts at 12:00.


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