Many years ago, I read a science fiction novel named The Sheep Look Up*. The book predicted the deterioration of the environment in the United States. In the novel, little by little, the corporation sponsored government caused changes in the climate. Content with the overall nature of their life-styles, the people absorbed these changes without reading the signs or having much reaction. It was not a priority. Life was good. No action was taken. One man, an academic who predicted and interpreted social change, was the only character who became disillusioned by the failure of society to listen. Eventually, the environmental situation reached crisis proportions. Rioting and civil unrest swept the United States due to a combination of climate induced poor health, poor sanitation, lack of food, lack of services, high incidence of birth defects (pollution-induced), disillusionment with companies and oppressive government, and other factors causing adequate services and infrastructure to break down. Finally, now that it was too late, the sheep looked up.
*The Sheep Look Up by British author John Brunner, was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972.
May we have the interest and wisdom to read the signs of our times and act accordingly.
Reflect on this story. Think of your own attitudes toward the crisis of human induced changes on planet earth. Read about the coming People’s Climate March on September 21st. Think of the politicians who deny climate change on TV news. Who are the sheep? Are you one of them?
Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.
Men argue. Nature acts.
Knowledge empowers people with our most powerful tool: the ability to think and decide.
The race is now on between the technoscientific and scientific forces that are destroying the living environment and those that can be harnessed to save it. . . . If the race is won, humanity can emerge in far better condition than when it entered, and with most of the diversity of life still intact.
Edward O. Wilson
Climate change is a terrible problem, and it absolutely needs to be solved. It deserves to be a huge priority.
Raising awareness on the most pressing environmental issues of our time is more important than ever.
Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us.
One of the biggest obstacles to making a start on climate change is that it has become a cliche before it has even been understood.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.
Native American Proverb
No one except possibly the late John Brunner, in his brilliant novel The Sheep Look Up, has ever described anything in science fiction that is remotely like the reality of 2007 as we know it.
What hurt him most of all, made him feel like a sick child aware of terrible wrongness and yet incapable of explaining it to anyone who might help, was that in spite of what their eyes and ears reported and sometimes their flesh, from bruises, stab wounds, racking coughs, weeping sores-these people believed their way of life was the best in the world, and were prepared to export it at the point of a gun.
John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.