Selfie or Your Life?

PacificWaves

This past week the Oregon Coast was visited by 40 foot waves caused by a massive storm in the Central Pacific a few days before. Local news broadcast well in advance the danger of the sheer power the water held in crashing against rocks and creating massive undertows, but sure enough, there was no lack of footage the following day featuring horrified relatives tearfully reporting a loved being pulled out to sea.

Meanwhile, about 80 miles inland on Rattlesnake Ridge (state park), drones captured a flock of people walking over a large crack in the earth on a mountain side that was going to slump in the valley below with devastating power (see recent California footage on mud slide). Despite signs being posted along the entire boundary of the park outlining the danger and even threatening arrest, there they were getting selfies.

I had to wonder, does this stupidity live in ourselves or our culture? What allows us to believe we are beyond the touch of impending doom? Is it possible we’ve become so accustomed to being the master’s of this planet that we believe nature to be inert, a mere Disneyland ride for our entertainment? Is this why we ignore report after report on the dangers of global warming and try to put our kids on a wild bison in Yellowstone because the selfie opportunity is just too good?

Well, I got news for our culture. According to the geologic record, trilobites (a small potato bug looking sea creature living in the ocean) survived 300 million years on this planet before ecological tragedy struck extinguishing 90% of the world’s life (including the hearty trilobite) at the end of the Permian. Humans have managed a mere fingertip of that time geologically, clocking in around 90,000 years at best. If you think ipads, designer clothes, or some last minute rocket to Mars is going to protect you, I suggest you think again.  There’s been five major extinctions on our planet since the lava cooled, and the cosmic plan tends to give each species one roll of the dice. I’ll save discussions on God for another time, but even if you are counting on God to save you from your own stupidity, you are grossly abusing the sacred gift of life. Then again, if we continue to spend the majority of our lives fanatically watching the Bachelor and caring about Kim K.’s next fashion choice oblivious to danger, maybe we deserve it.

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