LAKE MACBRIDE— Green up has come and blossoming trees paint the landscape with their white and red petals. Back in the day, when work took me to Georgia and Tennessee, I managed to see dogwood in bloom most years. It was ersatz when reminders of spring were close by if we could have but recognized them.
Spring weather has been dicey and farmers are adapting. One farmer got sick of the fields coated with a thin layer of mud and headed into the house to stop looking at it. For some, planting began yesterday. With modern technology, the whole state could be planted in under a week— one of the ways farmers have adapted to global warming and climate change, although most wouldn’t talk about this.
The central question regarding global warming and climate change is whether people will join together and do something about it. Some are, and more will, but most don’t connect the dots. A common obstacle to progress has been that some people feel the problem is too big to deal with. There is no denying it is a complex problem that doesn’t lend itself to easy solutions.
What’s a person to do? Go on living.
If we don’t take care of ourselves first— by sustaining our lives together— we have little to offer. Taking care of ourselves is not optional.
At the same time, being self-centered is not good for us, or for society. There is plenty to occupy our bodies and minds on earth, and while some days we just get by, on others we rise to our potential and contribute something to a greater good. If this were a cafeteria, I would have another serving of the latter.
Life in consumer society may resemble a cafeteria, where we get a choice on everything, but it is not that. We have a home place, and somehow it has gotten to be a storage shed rather than a center for production. Once we make our choices, then meaningful articulation of our life becomes more important than accumulating additional things.
In the end, the case for taking action to mitigate the causes of global warming and climate change will be made by the environment itself. The environment doesn’t care much about humans.
It will become abundantly clear, and some say we are already there, that humans control our environment in a way we couldn’t when the population was much smaller. Logic won’t make the case to sustain what we have. It will be made of our existential experience and awareness that our lives have meaning beyond answers to the questions where will I stay tonight, and what will be my next meal. When people go hungry or without a place to sleep, it is difficult to think about much else, making change nearly impossible.
We live in an environment ready for change and there’s more to it than singlular voices on the platted land.