You said that you know in your bones that we have screwed up the ecosystem, temperature, and the world. This statement is truly a big burden to live with. Rather than addressing this directly I would like to share my thoughts on how I formulated my belief or faith on this subject.
As you used faith to mean what we know without knowing it would it make sense to say part of this faith comes about after a gradual processing of thoughts, experiences, learning and living? This is the well of experiences and thought you draw from when some of your beliefs come from faith.
When I was in my early twenties (or late teens?) there was something of a panic going on about the then upcoming weather phenomenon that was going to mean doom for the human race within 10 years. It was a global ice age. To me the most frightening fact was that according to scientists the oceans would freeze. Most harmful was this freezing of the oceans would mean our whole food chain would be affected. Quickly after this was all anyone spoke about, Hollywood got involved. I remember Ted Danson and Ed Asner were frequently interviewed on news shows. What astounded them was that with this freezing you could walk from Alaska to Russia and the whales would die. Why they were called upon as experts I don’t recall.
More recently global warming was the doomsday vehicle. Scientists had the data; the United Nations formulated the Kyoto Agreement to stop this catastrophic event because mankind had very little time left. Hollywood got involved. We couldn’t have Polar Bears dying. Experts testified before Congress. To me what was telling was no one was talking about the biggest source of heat, the sun. Also telling was one of the provisions of the Kyoto Agreement was that two nations were being granted emerging nation status and would not have to abide by the pollution and clean air laws for a number of years . These two countries were among the top four polluters; China and Brazil. The world was in immediate danger but yet these two countries could continue as usual. This was puzzling to me.
Sometime later there were articles about the national weather service placing weather reading stations in places that did not produce a true reading of temperature. Some of these sites were near airport tarmacs and on top of flat-roofed buildings close to air conditioning units and heat generators. This list goes on but I just wanted you to know some of the things that I’ve observed that lead me to question what I hear and read. For me this is particularly true when money is involved and some greedy persons take advantage of people’s fears; companies start up, books are written, interviews are given, web sites emerge, movies are produced, and politicians use the issue to win elections. The cycle continues. Theme and variations. Noise and more noise.
I do feel there have been weather changes and shifting, but as I see it weather changes all the time. I haven’t come to the conclusion that the world will end. I will also be the first to admit that I could be totally wrong.
In any case I do not have a profound guilt that I am responsible for all this. The best I can do is lead a good life and do the best I can as an individual, a father, husband, and family member. This is the sphere I live in and have a direct impact on.
As I stated before it saddened me that you seem to take on a burden more than one person can. Look at what you’ve done in your 37 years. Look at the love that you have instilled in people for you, your many accomplishments, and the students whose lives you’ve touched and continue to have an impact on, the time you spend with your sons. The list can continue but then it would sound too much like a father bragging about one of his sons. Look to the good as well. I know you’re destined for something extraordinary.
Faith. What we know without knowing it.