All things environmental

Musings about the environment and all it touches, from education to city planning

The Age of Miracles

with one comment

Yesterday I gave a lecture on climate change to a group of students, trying my best to put a positive spin to what is a somewhat depressing topic.

After the class, I put my Ipod on shuffle, and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Age of Miracles popped up first. Just the inspiration I needed. This has to be one of the songs most filled with hope for the future despite looking at the social and environmental mess we’re in.

Have a listen, if you don’t know it, and take the time to absorb some of the lyrics:

Greenland is melting, the west is on fire
But don’t ever stop praying for rain
It’s a curious place between hope and desire
Different gods, but the prayer is the same
And thousand-year storms seem to form on a breeze
Drowning all living things in their paths
And when a small southern town finds a rope in a tree
We’re all once again trapped in the past

We can fly through space with the greatest of ease
We can land in the dust of the moon
We can transform our lives with the tap of the keys
Still we can’t shake this feeling of doom
But I woke to find monks pouring into the streets
Marching thousands strong into the rain
Now if courage comes dressed in red robes and bare feet
I will never be fearful again

You think you’re just standing still
One day you’ll get up that hill
In the age of miracles
There’s one on the way

I guess I’m of the Star Trek generation: an environmentalist who believes that there’s hope at the end of the tunnel, and that, yes, technology (fly through space, a tap of the keys) will play a role in getting us out of the mess. I believe we’ll come out of this crisis wiser, even if damaged. If we can avoid the traps of our past attitudes (a rope swinging from a tree) but get inspired by the wisdom of the past (the saffran robes of the monks, an allusion to the peaceful protests in Myanmar a few years back), we’ll pull through. Yes, it may look like a miracle is needed to get all of us to walk the same march. But don’t discount our species ingenuity and resilience; our kids will pull through.


Written by enviropaul

September 25, 2014 at 8:49 am

One Response

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  1. Thanks Paul. And yes, we need to quell our cynicism, dampen our pessimism and get on with making those miracles happen. Would like to hear your thoughts on the education ministry wanting to cut out environmental education in grades 1-9. See my blog for more info…


    September 25, 2014 at 8:56 am

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