Before

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And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. Genesis 1:26

 

Before the angels wept

Before the rivers salted

Before the aquifers dried

Before the cities on the Atlantic flooded

Before the islands vanished

Before the glaciers melted

Before the last queen bee died

Before the turtles stopped laying eggs

Before the frogs quit croaking

Before the dust storms blew east

Before the water wars between Israel and Jordan

Before the water wars between the US and Mexico

Before the water wars between Switzerland and the rest of Europe

Before the water wars between India and Pakistan

Before Bangladesh returned to the sea

Before the forests turned to sahel

Before the sahel turned to desert

Before all the fish became toxic

Before the last coral bleached

Before the Big One sent half of California into the Pacific

Before the Mississippi swallowed New Orleans

Before the last of the apples grew

Before the wheat crop failed

Before the Exclusion Zone expanded to Moscow

Before Charles III fled to what was left of New Zealand

Before the Pope retreated to Capri after one final blessing

Before ebola consumed most of Africa

Before the ladybugs all died off

Before the Chinese required sterilization

Before the last of the Amazon burned for farms

Before the Nile ran dry

Before the oil wells gasped their last black liquid

Before the forests refused to grow

Before the yearly Cat 4’s and 5’s hammered our coasts to nothing

Before the last untamed space became tame

Before melanoma was as common as a cold

Before the migrations changed the politics

Before the EPA disbanded

Before the palm oil plantations burned

Before the final gigatons of fossil fuels were released

Before the methane of the ruminants required gas masks

Before the Great Extinction in ’46

Before each month brought new record highs

Before the last school child futilely planted that last tree

Before Malthus giggled in his grave

We had quite the run

 

 

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