On climate change.
She’s trying to tell us, Mother Earth is, that
climate change is something to take seriously,
that it is more than a mere inconvenience,
and is, indeed, a survival threat. I mean,
she allows a clear view of sister
Venus (visible in morning or evening),
and knew, I’m sure, that we would one day
accede to curiosity by exploring space, the
planets extant, and learn of Venus’ awful fate;
to wit, a hellish world with temps so high
that lead would melt, and pressures such
that the first Soviet unmanned craft to
land there were crushed like old tin cans.
It took a while, I’m sure, for Venus to become
so inclement, with an atmosphere so thick
and full of carbon dioxide that the infrared
radiation could not escape—it is, indeed,
a runaway greenhouse effect. Shall we
suffer such a fate? Pollution from factories,
from cars and trucks—these are greenhouse
gases, which trap heat. Seems natural to
think our big, blue planet can forever adjust.
Yet if we deny this disquieting truth,
and act as if tomorrow never comes,
then maybe our only home will become
like Venus. This notice eyes us forthright,
the print legible, the message clear, just
as space is clear, full of stars and galaxies—
that cosmic view attained when viewed
from high above our protective atmosphere.
So courteous, she, Mother Earth, to provide
this notice with weather changes abrupt, the
meandering of jet streams unprecedented,
polar vortexes in furious anger, receding
Arctic ice and glaciers diminishing all too quick.
She warns, all right, yet still spins on her axis
(a modest tilt), allowing for seasons, providing
us a place to live. Mother Earth is kind, and
she is patient… to a point. Our stewardship
demands we heed her notice.