By Abdulrasaq Adesanjo Amolegbe
Dear Mother Nature,
Sorry! When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of the rest of us. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of the previous generations and my generation. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of the ones that hurt you. When I say sorry I speak on behalf of the children that love you. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of the ones who deny your pain. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of those who shut their ears to your screams. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of those who closed their eyes to your cries. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of those who have closed their hearts to your feelings. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of those who ignored your warning signs. When I say sorry, I speak on behalf of those who fed you with poisons. Sorry!
Sorry we cut down the trees. Sorry we destroyed the forests. Sorry we damaged the vegetation. You gave us trees that cleaned our air. You provided us with trees that nourished us with foods and medicines. You furnished us with bountiful trees that stored and purified our water. But Mother Nature, I’m sorry that we destroyed them with horrific machines at the rate of 40 football fields every minute. We damaged those trees for money, placing present profit above future populations. We placed greed above need. We placed the rule of money above the natural rule. We placed the rule of gold above the golden rule. And it wouldn’t hurt you that much if we didn’t actually put images of trees on the mints we printed. We cut down the trees, shutting our eyes to your warnings and we closed our ears to the animals inhabiting the forests. Deforestation has now become the second largest cause of global emissions. Mother Nature, your love is unequivocally incomparable. You gave us trees to help us absorb the CO2 we release yet we burnt down the trees while simultaneously increasing our emissions. While we were eliminating the solutions to our problem, we were at the same time creating more catastrophes. While we burnt down the trees that could help us absorb the CO2 we released, the burning process was at the same time releasing more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Sorry Mother Nature for our acts. We didn’t realize that while we burnt those trees, we were, at the same time, reducing the fertility of the vegetation you gave us. It is said that more than 121 natural medicines could be gathered from the rainforest. Yet we complain of incurable illnesses after using those natural remedies as credit cards with no limit. We cry of the tumultuous cancerous growths in the body even though it was estimated that 25% of cancer-treating organisms are found in the Amazon forest.
Sorry, Mother Nature we polluted the ocean. Sorry, we littered the seas with garbage. Sorry, we filled the blues with plastics. We didn’t know what we’re doing until we realized that animals that were here long before us are now leaving because of us. Sorry, we intoxicate your blood with dangerous antibodies. Sorry, we stained your lymph with our dirty acts. As if that wasn’t enough, we went further to decorate the ocean with plastics. We conducted experiments on mother nature which wouldn’t allow other species to conduct on us.
Guess what mother nature? It didn’t take long before we began to reap the consequences of our actions. Yes, we intentionally destroyed aquatic habitats and we ignored the screams of the aquatic animals. Our acts of ignorance came with a reward in less than a century. Scientists have discovered micro plastics in 114 aquatic species and more than half of those animals end up in our dinner. Aquatic animals not only contain just oil or food supplement, they now supply humans with plastic. Even though you provided us with food, mother nature, we desired to eat plastics.
According to National Geographic, half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 year and every year about 8 million tons of plastic waste escapes into the oceans from coastal nations. That’s the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot of coastline around the world. While we may use our I.Q to detect these plastics in foods, land-based animals, however, may not. The plastics block certain organs and damage tissues and most times lead to death of the animals. Sorry mother nature!
Sorry mother nature we tuned deaf ears to the Arctic. We bought horrific weapons to fight ISIS neglecting the ARCTIC. The ice is melting at a fast rate, yet we live every day as usual. Mother nature, you placed yourself not too near the sun so that we may not melt and not too far that we may not freeze. To keep us alive you created four seasons, yet we altered them with our works. The ice is melting at an alarming rate and the Greenland ice could reach a tipping point by 1.5°C. In 2014, we learned that the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets were even more vulnerable to melting than scientists anticipated—in fact, the West Antarctic sheet had already passed a tipping point of collapse, more than doubling its rate of ice loss in just five years. The same had happened in Greenland, where the ice sheet is now losing almost a billion tons of ice every single day. The two sheets contain enough ice to raise global sea levels ten to twenty feet—each. That’s not all, revealed in 2017, two glaciers in the East Antarctic sheet were also losing ice at an alarming rate—eighteen billion tons of ice each year, enough to cover New Jersey in three feet of ice. If both glaciers go, scientists expect an additional 16 feet of water. In total, the two Antarctic ice sheets could raise sea level by 200 feet; in many parts of the world, the shoreline would move by many miles. We are aware of the sea-level rise and we know quite alright that between 1992 to 1997, the sheet lost, on average, 49 billion tons of ice each year; from 2012 to 2017, it was 219 billion. We knew it took us 5 years to reach about 49 billion tons of lost ice each year and last decade, we moved up to about 4x the figure. We knew all this. Yet we shut our eyes to your screams. Sorry Mother Nature.
Sorry mother nature that you connected us but we chose to stay disconnected. Apparently, we are all interconnected. From the Sunflower to the Sunfish. From the land Horse to the Horsefish. From the Polar ice to the Polar Bear. Animals that were here long with us and before us are leaving because of us. About 200-2000 species become extinct every year. Rhinos are gone, Elephants are gone. Cheetah, Gorilla, Polar Bear are gone. All because of us. Orangutan gone! Elephants, Rhinos, Chimpanzees are gone! Some of us don’t even know of the Vaquita. Neither the Pangolin nor the Saola. All we have left are moonlight tales. Mother nature, Sorry. We just didn’t realize what we had until it was gone. Sorry we were too caught up in our doings to do something doing NOTHING. Sorry we listened to people who gave excuses for their ignorance. Sorry we relied on the ones who gave us reasons for inflicting destruction on the earth. I’m sorry about our mindset. I’m sorry about our attitude. I’m sorry about our intuition. I’m sorry about our ignorance. Mother Nature, I must say that once again that I’m sorry we called these destruction, progress. While you are in deep pain, giving warnings of destruction, we termed it civilization. Your demolition became our civilization. I’m sorry that we regarded your devastation as our sophistication. I’m sorry. In the end, I'll say we deserve to be awarded the greed of the month, horror of the year, and giant of the decade. I’m sorry Mother Nature.
Hey! You reading this! You know what? I ain’t sorry anymore. This future is full of calamities, I do not accept it! An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it. Yes! We can shift this! Now, let me suggest this. When a farmer sees an unhealthy tree, he doesn’t look at the branches for diagnosis. He looks at the R.O.O.T. And like that farmer, we look at the root, not to the branches of government. Not to the branches of politicians or corporations but to this generation. We are the first that would witness something like this and would be the last that could do something about it. The problem is not leadership, global warming, sea-level rise or environmental destruction. The problem is us, caused by us, symptoms of us, by products of us. It’s due to our loss of connection, lack of reflection, desire for civilization, lack of consideration. Let me remind us that whatever we are fighting for –VACCINATION, GAY RIGHTS, FEMINISM, TRIBALISM, TERRORISM- It won’t matter in the least if we don’t all work to save mother nature, we would all be EXTINCT!
Let’s be reminded that emissions anywhere are sources of threats everywhere. Earth Day isn’t just April 22nd or any other day. Earth Day was yesterday. Earth Day is today. Earth Day is tomorrow. Earth Day is everyday.