Life's ups and downs continue whether we've planned for them, anticipated them or not. Recent devastation from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and torrential rainfalls in New Jersey and New York were not anticipated and wreaked havoc on the areas where they occurred. I have been amazed by some of the stories of gratitude and the resourcefulness of people, who helped their neighbors and communities in this time of need. The beauty of banding together in a common cause is truly inspiring.
Then, I listened to a spokesperson from FEMA tell a newscaster that with more money they could plan better for this new age of Climate Change. She expressed confidence that money and planning, plus acknowledging that climate change was the cause, were the key elements for the solution.
It struck me as human hubris to say such a thing and not based in fact. I'm a supporter of changing the mindset of humans to be more cognizant of our impact on nature and our planet. I believe that all living creatures contribute to the ecosystem of life and balance of nature. I also believe that caring for our soil, water, air and the living beings on our planet requires a heightened awareness of the delicate balance of life. Yet, the catch-all phrase used these days of "Climate Change" attributed to everything from hot weather to heavy rain to fires to tornadoes and hurricanes is misleading. The facts about the 2 degrees Fahrenheit increase in our temperatures on the planet since 1880 don't account for the ice age periods and the heat spike Cretaceous Hot Greenhouse and Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum periods occurring millions of years ago. The "Climate Change" cries also seem to disregard the fact that the planet is 4.54 billion years old.
I recall that about ten years ago after a World Climate Conference, the warnings came out that many of our landmasses would be underwater in a few years if we didn't address Climate Change. The Maldives, the Seychelles and other islands were given between a few years and 50 years, depending on the source. Many tourists rushed to these exotic and luxury islands to experience their beauty before they no longer existed. Yet ten years later, with supposedly "climate change" the number one unaddressed crisis today, these islands are thriving and none are close to sinking due to rising waters. Those predicting the catastrophic sinking of the islands ten years ago are now warning that they may sink in 200 years.
When I was in grade school, I wrote a paper about the threat of overpopulation and the imminent need to limit the number of births. I was given the topic by the teacher, as this was evidently considered an area of great concern that would lead to poverty and decreased resources and eventual devastation for all living beings on earth. That paper was hand written (no computers in schools then) nearly 60 years ago. The hypothetical crisis, necessitating Chinese restrictions on births; forced abortions of females in some countries; encouraged birth control measures and the need for population control continues to be a narrative today that is closely tied to the Climate Change story. The world population in 1963 was 3.2 billion people. The current world population is 7.9 billion people. While there is poverty and lack of resources for many in the world, the number of people in existence has little to do with those problems. There is more food produced daily than would feed the entire planet, and yet due to logistics, people are starving. Even those eating our currently produced foods are often unhealthy due to poor soil, pesticides, GMOs and over processing.
Especially since Covid 19, we are a nation in turmoil and a world in disarray. Perhaps it all starts with that human hubris at the core of the issues.
Humility, simplicity and gratitude come to mind. If we acknowledge as humans that we are not the center of the universe, and are instead, one of many beings coexisting on the same planet gifted to us by God, that is a beginning. If we further acknowledge that natural disasters and weather phenomena will cause destruction as a natural part of the planet's cycles, whether we plan for them or not, and we need to simply work together to address each situation as it presents itself and make sensible choices about where we live and construct our businesses. Renewal comes after destruction and is also a natural cycle of nature. Feeling gratitude to be alive, living and working together in communities gives us strength as a nation and as humans living on planet Earth.
Instead of the name calling, finger pointing and insistence that nature and other beings can be controlled, our interconnectedness can renew our nation and allow all nations to live on this earth peacefully and in harmony. It is my hope that we begin refocusing on what is truly important - love, family, faith and relationships with other humans and all life on earth.
May you and your loved ones be healthy and happy!