Everyone by now has heard of the Butterfly Effect -- "the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events (domino effect). Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. While the butterfly does not "cause" the tornado in the sense of providing the energy for the tornado, it does "cause" it in the sense that the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado, and without that flap that particular tornado would not have existed."
The Butterfly Effect is based on the chaos theory, described by Edward Lorenz. I first read about the Butterfly Effect in a book by Ray Bradbury called “The Sound of Thunder”. I thought the Butterfly Effect was far-fetched when I read the book -- strictly science fiction with no basis in reality or fact. But Edward Lorenz's theory of the order of chaos proves that the Butterfly Effect is very real. In Bradbury's book, a squashed butterfly in the past drastically changed the course of the future.
The oil spill in the Gulf is changing the course of the future, not only for the folks in the near vicinity, but for the entire world. Migratory birds from Canada will be affected. The delicate and exquisite balance of the ecosystems around the world that are all related to each other will be affected in ways that we cannot even begin to imagine, except from the realm of what we would perceive to be science fiction.
Why isn't more being done to clean up the mess? It's almost as if everyone has given up. They are overwhelmed. BP enlisted 400 men to look as if they were cleaning up the beach for President Obama's visit, “Early in the morning in advance of the president’s arrival, hundreds of workers clad in white jump suits and rubber gloves hit the beaches to dig oily debris from the sand and haul it off. Workers refused to say who hired them, telling a reporter only they were told to keep quiet or lose their jobs.” When the President left, so did the workers.
My friend Susan sent me a quote by Chief Seattle, the full text of which:
"Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."
... and the dragonflies.