This Day is Set Before You: Choose

I challenge you to watch this appeal from the leader of the Philippines delegation to the climate talks at Doha.

The man gets it. Painfully. Personally. Tragically. There are alarmingly few who get it. We make sure of that; it requires too much of us. Have you come to tears confronting what we are doing to this place and to our children’s future?

It’s a terrible and lonely thing to comprehend that which the majority denies or refuses to confront.

It’s a terrible thing to be able to see the neglected future, as we do nothing meaningful–the outcome inevitable at this late hour–to even soften the blow of suffering of people we know, the loss of places we cherish and love.

How I feel for this brave and honest man. The pity that there are so few people weeping for the future on this planet–the Blue Marble whose living systems and creatures will become the ultimate victims of our inaction, our indifference and our silence.

That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth the beast. For they have all one breath.

Or something to that affect comes to mind from Ecclesiastes, which perhaps seems fitting here because this Filipino man has reminded me of the message of more than one Old Testament prophet: turn from your ruinous ways and live, or go they way you have set for yourselves against all warnings and perish. This day it is set before you to choose.

Meanwhile, back on the Philippines…

Philippines typhoon death toll passes 500. More than 400 missing and 310,000 homeless after typhoon Bopha strikes southern island of Mindanao.


About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

2 comments:

  1. Will follow to see if this is more than window dressing. We have to find silver linings even in the most unlikely places. When such acknowledgement of the necessity of making difficult changes comes from the US or China, we may be re-writing the final chapter. Without those primary players, even with middle-eastern oil money bet on the right horse, as Hansen has said, it’s game over.

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