Global Warming, Oil, and Testing our Faith
(Or, the grandiose meanderings of a sleep-deprived mind)
To begin, I will flatly say that I am not religious, nor am I spiritual. I personally no not subscribe to a belief in any higher power, intelligence, or being. I do, however, attempt to don the proverbial lenses of a sociologist and examine facets of our world as though I were religious. I mean no slight, affront, or challenge to the honestly religious among us. Your resolve is at worst admirable, at best inspiring.
On this tangent, I entertain the notion of tests of our faith. Every day, our faith in various things is tested; perhaps your car needed a few extra pumps of that gas pedal to get up and running this morning, perhaps your significant other seemed a little less than endearing to you this afternoon, perhaps your commute to work took a little longer than the 15 minutes it "always" takes.
Or, perhaps you noticed the leaves haven't yet changed color on the trees.
Maybe it really is a little warmer than it was last year.
Maybe these oil prices are not the cresting of a mountain, but the beginning of a long climb.
Maybe the oil really has run out.
We all have our tests; Job had his, he did not stray far from his faith, nor did he stray for long. Christ had his, and his faith in the goodness of humanity remained unwavering as he was breathing his last. We all have our tests, and for some of us, it is whether we choose to join allegiance with a self-styled man of faith and stand fast at his side as he plunges us ever further into perdition, or choose to follow the compass of faith within our own hearts, the guiding needle that has led us along the most rewarding path time and time again, and remain aloof from such temptation.
It seems the tests of faith which seem as murky as a silt-darkened pond, are the ones which offer the greatest reward for fortitude. Can we sustain ourselves as a global people without the assistance of oil? Is it too late to stop global warming? Is it too late to turn back from the brink?
Perhaps the dilemma of petroleum is a second chance at making good on a challenge held against us at our inception: that of the forbidden fruit. Is it coincidence that we slurp this viscous, opaque, noxious sludge from deep under our own feet, from far under our firmament? Is it coincidence that it is retrieved by great grinding monstrosities of steel, belching puffs of poison into our pocket of existence in the chilled desolation of space?
Or is it coincidence that we have available, yet untapped, at our fingertips, a plethora of energy sources that have surrounded us for every moment of our collective memory; that the same man who has led us so disastrously astray as a nation chooses to align himself with the profiteers who grow wealthy by drawing a dark energy from deep within the ground, as opposed to from the warmth and light of the day itself?
Are we supposed to believe that we will not toil as though we are beasts of burden, once this oil runs out? Are we supposed to believe that we cannot return to the light and free ourselves from the subterranean darkness?
Is it circumstance, that so many of the methods by which we lead such eased lives, by which we slowly poison and cook ourselves, originate from death and decay? Would it be so outlandish to expect that such morbid reduction may visit us in an ironic pirouette of fate, that we see ourselves frozen, drowned, and immolated as the final fruits of our sloth?
It may be a thread of coincidence that binds us together in such monumental tests of faith. It is certainly a choice, whether this thread will bind us to our collective demise.