Reading on the internet tonight led me to Ireland and Sister Maud Murphy, SSL who has written a timely poem about the Coronavirus. She’s hit the nail on the head. It’s a theme I have thought of often this week as I’ve listened to politicians posture about how this virus is the fault of a particular geographic area of our world. The virus comes not from a particular place but from a lifestyle of over consumption. Our failure to live simply so that others could simply live has caught up with us. Now we face a reckoning of our own creation. It’s payback time and as an old friend once said, “payback’s a bitch.”
We were warned by Rachel Carson nearly sixty years ago when she published “Silent Spring.” Al Gore published Inconvenient Truth in 2006 and it was dismissed as too political. Politicians and pundits laughed and said there was no way we could afford to change our ways. It was not economically feasible they said. In 2015 Pope Francis released Laudate Si and again the politicians and pundits dismissed it. It was economically not feasible and some said the pope should tend to matters of the church because the climate and the economy were not his business. Last year Greta Thunberg warned us just as the prophets of old that our time was running out. She was dismissed as all the prophets have always been. They said she was crazy. Some folks said that Greta had anger management issues. The Green New Deal was dismissed out of hand by those who worshipped the golden calf of the stock market and economy.
Now the planet has spoken and she has our attention. Sister Maud Murphy has written a poignant poem that captures the irony of our dilemma. The stock market is plummeting and the economy is tanking. We are forced to keep our distance from neighbors. Businesses are shuttered. Maybe there is a silver lining in Coronavirus. Maybe we’ll emerge transformed. Maybe.
We were flying to the Moon
We were finding life on Mars
We were dropping bombs with drones
We were getting bigger cars.
We were building finer homes
Flying out to warmer lands
We were busy buying clothes
We were brushing up our tans.
We were throwing out good food
While we watched the starving poor
We kept burning fossil fuels
And our air became less pure.
We were warned by our Pope
Need to mind our Common Home
Need to watch our Carbon Footprint
Try to save our world from doom. – Sister Maud Murphy, SSL
Read the entire poem here.