Healing the earth’s climate

Published 9:26 am Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Margaret Watson Bird Club welcomes you to join them Thursday, April 4, at the Farmville-Prince Edward Community Library, 1303 W. Third St., Farmville. Dr. Carolyn Wells will present a program on healing the earth’s climate. Refreshments will be offered at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7 p.m.

According to a release our Earth, our home, the planet on which we live — and without which we could not live is sick. And it grows sicker with each passing year. Its climate patterns are changing, not at a slow rate of geologic time, but relatively rapidly. Many people are working hard to slow the change. They are beginning to understand its causes. They are beginning to learn how it progresses. And they are learning the devastating consequences if humans fail to stop it.

But even if we understand the causes, know-how the change progresses, and know how to slow it, the climate just keeps on changing, in big startling bursts like the California fires, and in slow, tiny steps like the inevitable sea rise.

The inconvenient truth, as Al Gore made clear years ago, is that we as a human race lack the collective will to heal the Earth. We lack the will to face the reality that humans — are the root cause of the change.

Or, as that wonderful character Pogo observed so long ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” Or words to that effect.

Why should that be the case? Why should human beings fail to act, when action is so critical?

For many it is arrogance, a belief that human activity is all-important, that it occurs in a vacuum removed from the Earth, and that nothing humans do could possibly change our planet’s climate For some it is complacency, a belief that, even if the Earth is sick, there is nothing that I can do to help it — so don’t bother me with the facts. But for many, perhaps the majority, the problem is simply ignorance, a lack of knowledge, or the inability to absorb complex information that is leading to dangerous inaction.

Come with your minds and your ears open, at least for a little while. Find out how climate change happens. Find out why it is dangerous. Find out how it is affecting our beloved bird species. Over 300 species are threatened with extinction because of climate change. How can we all help?

Dr. Wells received her Ph.D. degree from Emory University with a major in physiological genetics. She retired from Longwood University in 2000 after 40 years of service as the Board of Visitors Distinguished Professor of Biology. Her career includes 28 years teaching a wide variety of biological subjects, as well as 12 years in Academic Administration. During six of those years in administration she served as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College.

In addition to her extensive career, Dr. Wells has been deeply involved within her Farmville community. She was instrumental in establishing the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts. From 2000-2013 she served as State Chairman of Women’s Issues and in 2014 she was the recipient of the VADAR Women in History Award. She has served five terms as an Elder on the Session of the Farmville Presbyterian Church. In 1991 Dr. Wells re-established the Margaret H. Watson Bird Club and she continues to be active on numerous committees and boards, both local and statewide