Global warming is not a future problem, it’s a now event. Jason Mraz has known this for a long time, but his trip to Antarctica with Al Gore in February along with 148 scientists, researchers, and environmentalists confirmed it.
In an essay he wrote for the Huffington Post reflecting on his trip, Mraz notes that, Antarctica, Earth’s air conditioner, is the canary in the coal mine for global warming. Meaning, if the climate at the south pole is changing, so too is the rest of the planet. For instance, when land ice that is miles thick melts rapidly and falls into the ocean, sea levels rise. And when sea levels go up, the threat we face are storm surges, coastal floods, and the possibility of drinking water for billions of people becoming contaminated with salt water. Yuck.
Mraz talks about the basics that we take for granted, such as the fruit cocktail he was served on his flight home. Where had the fruit come from? How much energy did it take to get to its final destination? How many chemicals were added to it to maintain its freshness? Little things like fruit coming from far off places, are just a part of the conveniences of everyday life that we’ve grown accustomed to. We’re finally starting to figure out that these conveniences are not sustainable.
If you ever travel to a developed country that’s hosted civilization for thousands of years, (think every country in Europe) you’ll notice the idea of sustainability is already ingrained in everyone. They act their age I guess. Products are typically made in their own countries and food is largely grown and sold locally. In the US, just about everything is made in China, is also made to break or become obsolete, and we drive our imported cars on oil, which keeps up in debt, in cancer, and at war.
While he does get deep, and arguably, depressing in his musings, Mraz does manage to conclude on a positive note.
In nature we are reminded of that which we really are. Nature. A piece of the Earth itself. Which is part of the larger universe. And in that place we’re reminded that we are billions of years old, if not older. Even wiser.