Today President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, “in order to fulfill [his] solemn duty to protect America and its citizens.”
I don’t feel safer. And I don’t think that Mr.Trump cares what I and countless other citizens of the U.S. and of the planet feel. I think he is not only opaque about his intentions,
but that if we don’t do something, we are sanctioning his actions.
We get too complacent. We become overwhelmed. It is larger than the scope of our influence or power, or, if we are not being directly affected, we don’t really care.
I am reminded of this poem:
There Will Come Soft Rains
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white, Robins will wear their feathery fire Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree If mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn, Would scarcely know that we were gone.
From The Language of Spring, edited by Robert Atwan, published by Beacon Press, 2003.
You may recognize the title from a Ray Bradbury story that is excellent, and thematically mirrors Teasdale’s poem. Here is Leonard Nimoy reading it, if you feel like revisiting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzhlU8rXgHc
Another well-known poem that deals with the human penchant towards self-destruction is “Fire and Ice” by Robert Frost. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/44263