Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
SPOTLIGHT: Just because the honey bee population, the monarch butterfly population, or the temperature is changing doesn’t mean we’re responsible.
BIG PICTURE: We humans are amusingly narcissistic. We really do carry on as if we were the center of the universe – the primary reason things happen out there in the wilderness or up there in the atmosphere.
But this planet was here, doing its own thing, for billions of years before we came along. Ebbing and flowing, sparking life and then watching that same life go extinct.
Because we’re able to measure natural fluctuations, we imagine that the minuscule amount of information we’ve collected is sufficient to draw conclusions. It’s as though, after selecting a tomato from a basket at the market, we began making confident proclamations about the past and future of the farmer’s field from which it was harvested.
Bees and butterflies have their own story, their own rhythms. At any given moment there’s a 50% chance their numbers will be going up. There’s also a 50% chance they will be going down. Whatever is happening today, whatever happened five years ago or 100 years ago might be nothing more than a historical blip.
Yet we humans jump to the same, predictable conclusion every time: Something is changing out there – it must be our fault!
TOP TAKEAWAY: We need to calm down. We really do.
Gloria Whelan’s novel, See What I See
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