During the three years my dad lived with incurable cancer, I tried not to wallow in fear. But shielding myself by living in denial wasn’t an option. Dad needed me to find clinical trials, look for new treatments, talk to doctors–anything to try to keep him alive. I spent hours and hours on the computer, trying to find something that would give my family hope.
It was hard to keep trying. Because I knew all along that he wasn’t going to make it, no matter what I did. Just three weeks after he was diagnosed, I found a retrospective study that showed that no one, not one person in all the case records they had found, had survived this cancer more than five years. Sometimes, I would find myself drifting away from the hard reality. Hey, let’s not think about it. Forget the cancer newsgroups tonight. Don’t bother with checking clinicaltrials.gov. But then that tight lump of fear in my chest would return.
My dad’s been gone for a long while now. When my dad died, I was very sad, but I was also relieved. He wasn’t suffering any longer. And I no longer had that lump of fear.
But now the fear is back. James Lovelock, creator of the Gaia hypothesis, says there will be less than a billion people on Earth in 90 year’s time. Wildlife and whole ecosystems will vanish…Polar ice is melting faster than scientists had anticipated. Polar bears are drowning. The glaciers on Mt. Kilimanjaro are disappearing. That will mean drought and death for the elephant orphans I love so much in Tsavo National Park.
It’s like coping with incurable cancer. The years ahead will be ones of pain, loss, and sorrow. Each animal extinction will be a death knell for me. The large mammals will go first. Polar bears, penguins, tigers, gorillas…Then birds, amphibians, whales, fish, coral reefs. And trees! We will lose so many beautiful trees.
Are you afraid of global warming? Please leave me a note. They say there’s strength in numbers…
I also have a request for global warming naysayers who may read this: Please do me a favor and surf on by. Or discover what thousands of Nobel Peace Prize winning-scientists have to say on the subject: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.