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My eyes water from the smoke and the displaced people—the lost wildlife and ecosystems. Zombie fires are erupting in the Arctic regions.
Sea levels are rising, and some believe that the dramatic changes in the Arctic suggest climate change could return Earth to Pliocene conditions of 3 million years ago. They say Florida and California’s Central Valley would be underwater, and it would be too hot to grow corn and wheat in the Midwest and Great Plains.
This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is on a record pace with 23 named storms through September. With two more months of hurricane season ahead, I fear we will suffer more flooding and damage.
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has laid it out pretty clearly: “The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
With a world gone mad with political and social upheaval, what can a person do to engage in mitigating the cause of these extreme events?
As I write, the entire west is burning up in historic conflagrations. According to Meteorologist Daniel Swain, “Around 3.5 million acres have burned so far in California in 2020. That’s around 3.5% of the entire land area of the state and is approaching *double* the previous record for the greatest acreage burned during a single year.”
The air is laced with smoke and ash; the orange sun some days does not come forth. The darkness shrouds me, and the air places a heavy weight on my chest.
The earth is sending us a message in this holy darkness—flames sown by our sturdy two-legged species; we have ingenious brains but hold no reverence for the future.
We act like animals in fights for survival as we subjugate her with overconsumption. Burning fossil fuels, destroying ancient forests for cheap hamburgers, farming with chemicals that add to global emissions.
I believe it need not be so and that we can begin to make a difference.
I will never forget the first time I bit into a dry-farmed, early-girl tomato. It was 1984, and I was working at Community Foods, a natural foods collective. A coveralled man offered me a box of these red orbs to sell in our store.
I found them to be a bit small. Since they were organic, which was hard to source in those days, I took a bite.
The sweet, seedy richness exploded and dripped. The very essence of tomato-hood danced in my mouth. They were exquisitely sweet and firm with a touch of tartness—like a complex wine.
The dusty local farmer, Mark Lipson, would someday become USDA’s first organic policy advisor. He is one of the founders of California Central Coast’s oldest dry-farmed organic tomato endeavors, Molino Creek Farming Collective.
Last week, this historic and iconic community farm was ravaged by the CZU Lightning Complex Fire that exploded across the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The pictures of the devastation are mortifying and terrifying!
I can’t help but think it’s getting mighty precarious for our big-brained species from where I sit with ash raining down and smoke choking the air. The earth behaves like a petulant child, and we understand why we are the recipients of her fury.
We can choose to retreat for fear of fire and flood, pestilence and disease. Or we can decide to listen to the portend of her message and take action to put things back in order.
It used to be thrilling as a child! The wind, lightning and rain were a sign that mother nature was alive and vital.
Now, the entire world is in peril, not just meteorologically but psychologically and philosophically: all have all gone off orbit.
Chaos reigns from the depths of both regions of the exterior and interior. While we prepare for the worst of it, yet to come, I serve forth learnings to keep us somewhat on the firm course of reason.