Have you ever had a hot flash? It’s usually a woman thing, the body heats up to an intense flash point. Whew! It’s hot! You are drenched in sweat, and everyone around you is going about their business as if nothing unusual is going on. Your face is beet red. You are shining, and please don’t anyone ask to shake your hand or give you a hug because salt water is dripping from every pore and everything is not okay, even if it is the body’s natural process, adapting to the shift and change of hormones.
I think that’s what the earth is doing. The earth is having hot flashes that include floods. Don’t blame her. She is only doing what’s natural, adjusting to her new way of being. It’s as unpleasant for her as it is for us.
I assume you survived last weekend’s heat wave, as did I. That kind of heat is, apparently, our future. It seems we are at the tipping point that scientists have been talking about since the 1970s.
Ah, the good old days. Back in the 70s, when President Jimmy Carter—yes, he who put solar panels on the White House, lowered the speed limit to 55, and put on a cardigan, thereby showing by example—told Americans that “solving the energy crisis ‘is the moral equivalent of war’.”1 He suggested lowering our use of carbon, a carbon tax, and using less. He was so damned negative. He said we couldn’t grow anymore. He was practically un-American and he failed to solve the Iran hostage crisis, and so he was voted out of office.
Arguably, that was an earlier case of a foreign power manipulating our elections. Iran hated Carter. Within minutes after Reagan took office, the hostages were released.2
History does repeat itself. Back in the 70s, we didn’t want to hear about how we might be negatively affecting our planet. We didn’t want to look into our hearts and see where and how we might be complicit in a problem. Just so on 9/11. (Do not think about why those fanatics flew those planes into a tower. Go shopping to prove them wrong! (sic) And bomb them.)
It’s morning in America again and “Bigger is better”. Like Reagan before him, Orange Julius (who will be our Caesar if we don’t get our act together) is milking our hubris for all it’s worth. Hate and fear fan our egos. “They” versus “Us”. It’s that simple.
Unfortunately, like so many relationships on Facebook, life is complicated, and as soon as we simplify it, we lose.
Example: I just finished a book titled Just Mercy by Byron Stevenson.3 The book describes his experiences working as legal counsel in our justice (sic) system, and exposes the extent to which racism and injustice is the basis of so much in our current political and social system. The book is right up there on my list of must-reads with Becoming Ms. Burton by Susan Burton and Cari Lynn.
What does racism and the mass incarceration of marginalized people have to do with climate change? Everything. Because we cannot build the future until we right the wrongs of the past and present. We must include social justice and race issues. That doesn’t mean leaving anyone behind. It means the grossly wealthy will have to let go of some of their wealth.
The heat has gotten to me. It is as if I am wandering in a hot desert, mirages everywhere of what is and of what might be. What is real and what a dream?
The beauty of this moment in time is the potential of each of us to make a difference. Answers to the climate crisis exist in the plural,4 and every one of them needs to be implemented, thus every one of us can do something to help. Drops in the bucket add up but we have got to get our government on board. The good news is seen in this poll:
The majority of us believe that climate change is happening. The majority of us want something to be done. Now. We need to get our government to hear that. Have you called your government officials lately? Local, state and national every, single day.
Apparently posting twice a week on a regular basis, and actually having something to say in the course of the post/s that isn’t drivel or repetitive or a lecture, possibly to the choir, is more of a challenge when in the heat of summer activity. Plants and animals are panting with the exertion of survival and I am in New York City, relieved that cooler weather has arrived. I am hoping that by Friday, I’ll have had time to read up on things hydrologic so as to proceed with things energy.