When the world is consumed by fire, inundated in floods, and crippled by a global plague, only one remedy can really help: union. Only our solidarity, our sense of mutual responsibility, can lift us above the impairments that nature has imposed on us. We may think that we must tackle each crisis separately, but we are wrong. The crises are all linked at the root, so if we cure the common root, we will resolve the crises.
It may seem odd that nature is striking us with physical punishments and we are to respond to them with emotional remedies such as bonding and mutual responsibility. Where is the connection between floods and love, for example?
It has already been scientifically proven that nature’s systems are all connected. There are countless scientific disciplines and interdisciplinary studies that research the interconnections and interdependencies among the parts of our global ecosystem, which is planet Earth, and even our solar system, the Milky Way Galaxy where we are situated in space, and ultimately the entire universe. Everything is connected, and everything affects everything else.
When a malfunction manifests, such as this year’s summer, when climate has clearly gone awry, we must examine not only the regional weather where an extreme event has happened, but everything else related to it. Eventually, we see that even local events such as severe hail storms are connected to everything else that’s going on in the world. To find the cause of problems, we must find which element or elements in the system are dysfunctional. If we find them and correct them, the whole system will regain its balance and the butterfly effect that leads to the creation of cataclysms will not happen.
When we look at all of nature, there is only one such element whose actions are becoming increasingly incongruent with everything else: man, or more specifically—human behavior. Particularly in recent decades, we have allowed our egos to run amok and demand whatever they want. We have enshrined carefree, careless, and mainly thoughtless behavior and resolutely rejected the very thought of accountability. As a result, instead of being free, we have been enslaved by our egos, which have destroyed our planet, killed millions of people and extinguished entire species. Ironically, in the name of freedom, we have denied the freedom of countless others, while we, too, have not become free; we have become our ego’s servants and we have ruined our world.
Now that our ruined world can no longer support us, it is falling apart, collapsing. We, who have been cutting the branch we have been sitting on, are about to fall with it. There is only one way to save ourselves from annihilation: to rein in our excessive egoism. If we become considerate and mutually responsible for one another, we will restore the balance we have denied nature, and nature’s restored balance will calm the storms. We have pushed nature to the edge; we have unleashed the storms upon ourselves, and we can restore balance and calm the world. For this, we only need to stop thinking only of ourselves, and start taking everyone into consideration.
Greece, Athens, 2021/08/03. Firefighter tries to extinguish wildfire burning at Varympompi suburb north of Athens. Photograph by Aris Oikonomou / Hans Lucas