To the Editor:
On a walk this morning, I came across a mighty pine tree standing alone in a field. I stopped to ask it a question.
“Mighty pine, do you believe that science is real?”
The pine replied, “Yes, I believe that science is real. It helps you humans make sense of the world around you. It also created the technology that destroyed my family.”
I reached out my hand and touched its sorrow.
As I moved on across the field, I came upon a lone honeybee looking for a flower. I bent down and asked the bee, “Honeybee, do you believe that science is real?”
The bee replied: “Yes, of course. Science created the pesticides and wireless signals that collapsed my colony.”
I hung my head and offered my condolences.
From where I stood, I could see a small river in the distance. When I approached the river, I asked it: “River, giver of life, do you believe that science is real?
The river replied, “Why yes. Science created the fertilizers and herbicides that poisoned my banks and polluted my waters.”
“I understand. I am sorry,” was all that I could muster.
I followed the river to the ocean, where I spoke gently to the great expanse of water before me. “Vast ocean, do you believe that science is real?”
The ocean exhaled deeply and said, “Yes, indeed. Science made the plastic that fills my body and is destroying all that I hold dear.”
I could not find the words, so I turned away. With sadness, I looked to the heavens. “Dearest sky, do you believe that science is real?”
“Why yes.” the sky replied. “What a silly question. Science built the machines that burn the fuel that poisons the air that I give to you.”
I nodded my head and began my journey home. On the way, I crossed a street and came upon a man sitting alone on a concrete bench. He was breathing poisoned air, eating poisoned food, drinking poisoned water, dying of cancer, staring at a phone. I asked the man, “Sir, do you believe that science is real?”
The man replied, “Yes, of course I do. Science is what treats my cancer.”
To all my friends out there worrying about where science, GoF research and corporate health care are taking humanity, please keep your heads up and know that you are not alone. Even the trees, which understand more about profit–driven devastation than perhaps any other group of species, continue to wake up each morning and reach for the sun. In doing so, they provide clean air for the rest of us to breathe.