Adults keep saying we owe it to the young people, to give them hope,
but I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic.
I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act. I want you to act
as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if the house is on fire, because it is.”
~ Greta Thunberg at 17
I’ve spent time this week reviewing some of the latest scientific research related to climate change. It’s very discouraging! It feels more out of control every day. And hopeless. I feel sick to my stomach.
At the same time, I’m doing my best to stay awake in the face of “OMG, We’re Doomed!” A lot of what I’ve read is about how the changes are happening faster than anyone thought they would.
I notice that there’s more about the issue in the media every day. The work of the scientists who are reporting appears to be more about observing and helping us stay awake than about how to reverse what’s happening. I read one article where the authors straight out say that all of these ingenious solutions – like seaweed containers, clean cookstoves, and renewable energy – are not enough; that there will never be enough positive actions to reverse the current trends.
Another article entitled, “Nearly 30 dangerous feedback loops could permanently shift the Earth’s climate, scientists say.” One example they give is that if there is less ice cover in the Arctic, the sunshine on the water warms the ocean. That warmth leads to more ice melting, more sunlight on the open ocean water and, thus, an increasingly warmer ocean and less polar ice. Such closed loops exacerbate the problem. And there’s no end to them. Just greater acceleration and intensity.
Forty years ago this winter I attended an evening presentation by a New Age spiritual teacher visiting from California. I will never forget one of his stories. Never. The reason I remember it is not because I agreed with it at the time. How could I? It was all new to me. Rather, I remember it because it awakened me to a new view of what might be happening during our lifetime. And it awakened me to a deeper understanding of the relationship between Life on Earth and Life in the larger Cosmos. Forty years ago.
“Imagine All of Creation as an incredible field of absolutely brilliant flowers with an infinite variety of sizes, colors, shapes, aromas. This field stretches on beyond the horizon into infinity. We could never reach the limits of this glorious field in one lifetime. And a truly spectacular characteristic of this field is that there is only one of each flower. Each is a totally unique creation.
“Now imagine that a newly budding flower is prematurely cut from its stem. As a result, it is dying. And, given its singular nature, there will never be another one like it. A great sadness enters the entire field at such a tragedy. Grief ripples across the field and on beyond the horizon. Yet, in spite of the sadness and grief, life in the field as a whole goes on and continues to flourish as before.”
Photo by Barbara