The most recent human obscenity, this time in Lebanon, again demonstrates that national borders have become almost irrelevant--certainly when it comes to global degradation.
The Israeli bombing of oil storage facilities and power plants has turned the Lebanon coastline into a black oil slick, which is apparently spreading to Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, and who knows where else. We know it will likely have disastrous consequences for marine life, but it will also impact areas within Lebanon and Israel, due to deforestation, habitat destruction, and air and water pollution. It may turn out to be a major environmental catastrophe in the eastern Mediterranean.
Some scientists now believe that China, in the not to distant future, may account for "a third" of California's air pollution. While China itself is well on its way to becoming an environmental disaster, it could, as well, drag the rest of the world with it. An atmospheric scientist at the University of Washington, after analyzing particulate matter (from Asia) at monitoring sites in Oregon said, "There is no place where you can put away your pollution anymore."
In the simplest of terms, even if the United States suddenly became the most environmentally enlightened nation on the planet, unrestrained growth in countries like China and India, with more than two billion inhabitants, could turn our planet into a nightmarish hell at the very least.
The option, however, is not to throw up our hands in despair or cling to some Iron Age fairy tales. There are no beautiful virgins waiting in the ether, nor did some Old Testament sociopath give some sand dunes to a particular group of people. The only "miracle" is this extraordinary planet we live on. We push even harder for global change. Earth is worth it.