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The gaping, hungry maw of a Great White Shark circles beneath unseen. 

Wolves staring their glowing, glowering eyes in the snowy woods. We feel the burning eyes but they are just beyond our ken.

Roaring forest fire burns tree and bush and flesh as we run amok with blind panic. 

Would we not protect our children from these horrors if we could?

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I fear for our children. And our children’s children. 

But not for Great White Sharks, or wolves, or forest fires or Grizzly Bears.

High in the thin invisible air, higher than the condor soars — deep, deep in the dark underground rivers of the world and in the crushing ocean depths, there lurks a monster more terrible than these by far.

Its tiny stinging tendrils reach out from the ocean, the sky, the forests. 

They are ugly and they reek though often they snake out unseen to claim their victims.

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Each year the monster grows and claims more victims, condemning them to death — not the swift but terrible death of the Grizzly’s jaws — or the snap of a Great White Shark. 

Instead, the victim succumbs to the slow, grey, agonizing and painful cancer of rotting disease. In the tumor’s desire for unlimited growth, it sucks the life from its victim over months or years. The tumor, of course, like all creatures of pure greed, has no life of its own. It cannot sustain its own life but must prey on others. That is the nature of Greed, of Cancer, and of Pollution – three names for three heads of one deadly dog: Cerberus. 

(Wikipedia, 14 March, 2021: Hercules and Cerberus. Oil on canvas, by Peter Paul Rubens 1636, Prado Museum.)

And yet, we do not choose to kill the monster. Indeed, we feed this monster. 

We fool ourselves that we make friends with it. 

In truth, we simply bribe it with Today so that it may grow stronger for eating Tomorrow. 

In our Greed, we give the monster what it wants Today so that Tomorrow it may eat more of our children and of our children’s children.

Oh, yes. 

I fear. 

I fear for our children. 

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Ugly, fetid, foul, poisonous tentacles of pollution encircle our children and they are closing in. They are closing in. 

And yet, we have all the weapons we need: our will.

We can withdraw the hand of Greed that feeds Today to the deadly beast. 

And all through the massive hall of mirrors, the countless years called:

 “The Infinite Tomorrow”, 

our progeny will thank us.  

Unlike us, their empathy will be strong, valued, and nearly ubiquitous. So, they will know that, as absurd as it sounds, this was not an easy decision for us. It was a near thing. We nearly doomed our entire species to lives of disease, disaster, and despair. 

But we cannot let that happen, can we?