Good Friday. If you're of that persuasion. Even though the sun's shining, it's record-setting cold here in Minnesota, with wind chills in single digits. April has earned its cruelest month status.
Today, after six years (and haggling on wording right to the finish line) the UN's Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change, made up of 2500 international scientists, released its report on global warming. Even though most of us have known this for at least a decade, and Al Gore won an Oscar for putting it on the big screen, the heart sinks to see it all spelled out.
And even though being right is little comfort in the face of this calamity, I can't resist: Eat your heart out Michael Crichton and Senator "global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" Inhofe. And to the right-wing dopes, who are already pointing to our cold snap as a real thigh-slapper of a day to release a report on global warming, don't confuse weather with climate.
The report paints a "near-apocalyptic vision" of Earth's future: more than 1 billion people in desperate need of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a blighted landscape ravaged by fires and floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.
And because the lord works in mysterious ways, the most desperately poor countries, those which contributed least to the problem, will suffer the most. For the Malthusians among us, yes, millions in far away places will die, but millions more will migrate, crowding into places where resources are already strained, places where they are unwelcome, and the repercussions will be world-wide. Even if you have no heart, these things will feast on your grandchildren's hearts.
Well, as they say with all junkies, you gotta admit you have a problem before you can change.
And what better time than during Passover, when God freed the
Jews from slavery by unleashing ten terrible plagues on the Egyptian people, or, on the flip side of that coin, during Easter, on the day when Jesus was crucified before rising from the dead?
Back in the day when I went to a church, the iconoclastic priest gave an Easter sermon about the resurrection. They all do. But he spoke of resurrection in non-religious terms -- the disabled child who learns to read, the stroke victim who regains speech, the closeted gay who comes out, the Irish mothers who made peace out of rage.
I am of little faith, but to get up each day, to present a hopeful face to my children and grandchildren, I have to believe in that sort of a resurrection. A resurrection of national humility and will to do right, and, in George Bush's America, a resurrection of science over religion. Maybe then we can still manage to save the world god gave us.