storm warnings

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After our balmy weekend temperatures in the 40’s, the snow had all but disappeared.

Mother Nature has taken care of that overnight, laying a blanket of snow on everything. Still, as I peer out into the early morning darkness, it doesn’t quite amount to what I would call a full-blown winter storm – at least not right where I am.

I thought about that yesterday, when I started noticing all the warnings about the impending weather. I wondered if there would really be any snow at all in my neck of the woods. Experience has shown there’s a heckuva lot of hand-wringing hype when it comes to weather. 

Same thing used to happen when I was in Florida – all the ballyhoo around the developing storms out in the Atlantic and all their various possible tracks, and, oh my, what they might become and do.

All the fearful advance reporting treats weather as a mythic, angry god before whom we cower and fight.

Weather is certainly important, much to be respected, and requires response, but the type of hype to which we are subjected mainly works to maintain the stress, worry, and fear that is so characteristic of our society.

It’s not as if people for thousands of years did not manage without weather reports ad infinitum.

I’m guessing the ancients were better about weather than we are. They would have been much more tuned into Nature, and would have noticed subtle signs and changes, and respected them. They would have planned ahead for winter based on experience, and without benefit of plows or snow blowers.

And they weren’t exactly pillaging the planet, either.

Even with all of our technology and science and advance warnings, we still have power outages, blocked roads, closings, flight delays, and plenty of destruction whether it’s snow or hurricanes, floods or fires. In fact, there’s more and more of them all the time.

And despite the avalanche of advance warnings, we basically do nothing anyway to take the steps we can to, say, ease climate change.

Just in the last few days, the US government released its Fourth National Climate Assessment. Now, there’s a storm warning! Among its dire findings, it reached this rather understated conclusion:

While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.

Hmm. Substantial damages. 

There is another approach. Maybe we could try trust and respect when it comes to earth and its atmosphere. Maybe we could be amazed by Nature, amazed by our interdependence – and try working with that. Maybe instead of wringing our hands, we could finally join hands with our planet. Maybe instead of hype, we could take heart.

And somehow weather the storm.

rebels for Life

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Hey, I am impressed. On Saturday, thousands of people took to the streets in the United Kingdom. They closed down five bridges in London, thoroughly making the point that they’ve got something to say.

This was a movement of the people not content with the do-next-to-nothing approach to our planet problem. The Rebels for Life have sprung into action. The Extinction Rebellion is underway.

The rebels are employing civil disobedience to force the hand of government. They say that:

Our political establishment has failed to protect its people from pollution, prevent further mass extinction of species on earth and prevent the possibility of human extinction in the near future.

They demand their government tell the truth about the climate and ecological emergency and reverse inconsistent policies. They seek legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025. They also seek the establishment of a national Citizen’s Assembly to oversee the changes.

There is a lot of energy around the Extinction Rebellion (XR for short). This is regular folks who are worried about the world, especially for their children and their children’s children. You can bring your kids up thoughtfully and carefully, feed them all the right foods, get the best education – but what good is all of it if the planet is uninhabitable?

Meanwhile, here in the United States, it’s as if there’s no tomorrow. The current administration has diligently been undoing what protections there were, promoting further plunder and destruction of the earth rather than reining it in. ‘Leadership’ across the board had steadfastly ignored the issue, even as California burns and hurricane devastation gets swept under the rug. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. There’s pockets to line, don’t you know.

Here’s hoping the Extinction Rebellion gets more traction, migrates, and results in real action to compassionately safeguard our planet to the extent that we humans can. This is everyone’s problem. We can all be rebels for Life.