Laura Donovan / Gavel Media

Diatribe: Mama (Nature), Didn't Mean to Make You Cry

If you took the world’s largest manmade weapon, the Tsar Bomba, and detonated it in the deepest part of the ocean, what do you think would happen? Tsunamis to topple cities across the world? Tectonic shifts big enough to reshape the world as we know it? Or, maybe most terrifying of all, radioactive fish (that one keeps me up at night).

The actual consequences? Pretty much nothing. There’d be some bubbles at the surface, sure, but no real lasting consequences. This is because the atmospheric pressure at the bottom of the Mariana Trench is more powerful than anything we could possibly hope to come up with. A 15-kiloton warhead creates pressure in excess of 10 psi. The pressure at the bottom of the ocean? 15,750 psi. You do the math.

When you think of Mother Nature, you probably think of a powerful maternal force. A mama bear protecting her cub, as it were. She feeds us, she bathes us, she allows us to continue existing. But this narrative is one born from the inherent individualism of the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the time of the Greeks and the Romans, Mother Nature was a bad bitch.

She was Gaia. She created a sickle out of stone so that her son, Cronos, could castrate his father. Gaia (or Terra, to the Romans) was vengeful, and took no crap. Which is why climate change terrifies me.

Were we to detonate a warhead underwater, she’d be confused and annoyed, but would get over it. She’d react the way you do when your little cousin pinches you. She’d tell us to f-off and then get over it. Were we to, I don’t know, emit tons and tons of greenhouse gases over the course of decades and continue to pollute our oceans and kill the marine life therein, heating up our planet more than is inhabitable, melting the ice caps, raising sea levels, and generally disrupting the ecological balance, she might get a little more upset.

And she’s given us our warnings. She’s told us to back off in the form of droughts, heat waves, and heightened catastrophic weather effects. And sooner or later she’s going to literally snap. She’s going to, if I may, exterminate the human race. Not just symbolically, but through famine, drought, disease, and displacement, she will quite literally prohibit us from continuing to exist. I’m not doomsaying or catastrophizing, I’m just saying that if someone kept slapping me after I told them to stop, I’d lash out. She’s given us our warnings, told us to stop, but we just can’t listen. And we’ll pay the price.

Have a good week everyone!

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