The Big Smoke

Spontaneous combustion is an entirely natural – even beautiful – thing. It’s actually been going on ever since planet earth cooled down to the global temperatures we’re now familiar with. It’s spontaneous combustion that started the fire in the Pembroke Marsh Material Mountain.

            Decades ago, when Bermuda dumped all its ‘trash’ in the ‘dump’, fires were more frequent. The Big Smoke that started on Tuesday 27th February – and that’s likely to go on for many more days – is something we haven’t seen in many years. But this Big Smoke comes at a good time and makes a timely and – especially by night – a spectacular reminder.

            This Big Smoke reminds that nature is inexorable. Nature doesn’t bend to human, political, or national will. Us lot can theorize, invent, even ignore; but nature just moseys along doing exactly what it’s been doing for a million years. Us lot with our three score and ten lifespan don’t always harmonize with the grand natural events that simply unfold and happen.

            Hurricanes hit. Tsunamis come – and don’t come. Bermuda’s national Cricket Team gets rattled by a mini-earthquake. The Material Mountain catches fire. It’s all natural.

            While we’re prattling about SDO’s and new eight and ten storey office buildings, we ‘d all do well to take a look at the miles-long pall of smoke from the Big Smoke.

            As us lot try and cram more ‘stuff’ onto our 13,000 acre coral atoll, we’ll come up against purely natural outcomes. Outcomes that have been happening to all mankind and in all nature for thousands of years.

            Cram too many people into too small a human space and don’t have the safety valve of emigration or some kind of mass population movement? You will get communal strife. Without radical change or intervention, that communal strife will likely reduce population – by whatever means – until the population is back in balance with its space. It’s just natural.

            Take a lot of human waste, organic, plastics, and other trash material and just keep spreading and dumping it all over Bermuda? You’ll eventually affect Bermuda’s underground water supply. It’s just natural.

            Take a lot of organic material and just keep dumping it, in an ever-rising pile, in the same space? You’ll eventually get a ‘Big Smoke’. It’s just natural.

            Sustainable Development? Reduce…Re-use…Recycle? “Lets be environmentally conscious?” Global warming? All that other environmental stuff? Look up at the ‘Big Smoke’ and ask yourself this question. Is all that environmental stuff important to me?

            Then, regardless of the answer that you give to yourself – remember that Nature follows it own, its very own, natural laws. Remember that those natural laws haven’t changed in a million years. Look at and remember the Big Smoke – and think harder about Bermuda’s future.

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