Heaven’s missing angel Dolly Parton sat down with National Geographic to talk about her tune “My Tennessee Mountain Home,” which was just voted the Volunteer State’s official new song. In the conversation, she talked about her love of Tennessee nature, and her concern about its treatment at our hands.
“We’re just mistreating Mother Nature. That’s, like, being ugly to your mama, you know?” she said. “That’s like being disrespectful, you know? Seriously.”
“I really think we all need to pay closer attention to taking better care of the things that God gave us freely and that we’re so freely messing up,” she continued. “We need to rethink that and do better.”
Tough talk from Momma Dolly, but the gentle approach towards moving the needle on climate change hasn’t really moved the needle much. Earlier this month, the UN issued a new report that could not have put its findings in starker terms, finding we are “firmly on track toward an unlivable world.” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the “litany of broken climate promises” made by world governments and global corporations that looked good on paper but were never acted upon.
In the famed 2015 Paris accord, world leaders pledged to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius this century — the bare minimum experts believed was needed to avert the most catastrophic of outcomes. But inaction and apathy has already led to one degree increase since pre-industrial times, contributing to a measurable increase in “flash floods, extreme heat, more intense hurricanes and longer-burning wildfires,” costing hundreds of billions of dollars and, far worse, human lives.
So Parton’s words are on the money, and if we care about her Tennessee mountain home, we’ll start demanding the real changes we need to ensure a hospitable planet for future generations.