Just a thought… We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. [Native American Proverb]
Well, it’s Friday. And how are you spending your weekend? Perhaps taking part in one of the many Terry Fox runs that are happening across Canada and around the world? If you are, I wish you sunny skies, comfortable shoes and good luck.
Here in Victoria stands a statue of Terry at the place where his run was to be completed, had cancer not stopped him halfway across this vast land of ours. We always think of him with awe and gratitude when we pass that spot near Mile Zero of the Trans-Canada Highway. Here’s a picture of that statue from readtheplaque.com.
Weathering storms – whether cancer, grief, or actual meteorological events – is what we do as humans. It’s how we’ve survived as a species for lo these millions of years.
The motto of South Carolina is “While I breathe, I hope.” That saying is more than just five words, it’s a pretty poignant way to look at life and, in many ways, words that thousands – millions – enduring the wrath of Hurricane Florence are undoubtedly taking to heart.
It’s hard to imagine having to pack up your belongings and leave behind a home that may not be there when you return. If it is, you could face devastation that will make your home uninhabitable – maybe permanently – the same kind of peril that so many fleeing fires in Fort McMurray in years past, parts of BC and Ontario this year and, of course, in many parts of the US this past summer. And yet, here it is: the new normal.
It’s not like we weren’t warned that this was coming. In 2007, former Vice-President Al Gore, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their efforts to alert the world about the imminent challenge faced by our planet.
That same year, in his Academy Award-winning documentary (and accompanying book), An Inconvenient Truth, Gore foretold, through clear scientific data, and prognostications based on them, that storms would be getting much more severe, flooding in coastal areas would become the norm and people displaced (such as those from Puerto Rico) would have to find new homes in safer areas. But, you know, what would a vast and clear majority of scientists know about anything?
Those who deny the predictions of some of the greatest minds of our times because, well, they choose not to believe science are glued to their TVs and devices today watching predictions of the path and wrath of one of the biggest storms of our lifetime (again). And how do they know all of this? Because of the same science these climate change deniers refuse to believe. Why, that would be as idiotic as refusing to acknowledge that nearly 3,000 people perished in Puerto Rico. Imagine.
The earth is getting warmer day by day, year by year. The water is heating up, the devastation is becoming increasingly severe (just look at the wrath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut hitting the Philippines these days, too). It’s all right here in front of us and yet, as Trump says (besides his astute observance that it’s “tremendously big and tremendously wet”), “it’s Mother Nature.” Hmmm…. Perhaps if they renamed it Father Nature, he’d treat its forces with just a little more respect?
My heart is with those unable to leave the path of Florence and the massive typhoon in the Philippines. For those who have the means to leave but choose not to do so (because, again, they know more than scientists and authorities who are issuing dire warnings), they will have to deal with the foolishness of their decisions. We wish no ill on anyone. But when will people really start to pay attention to what’s happening? And will it be too late for us all?
Yeah, a really cheery end to the week, Erin. Sorry about that. I had a light-hearted one ready to go, but this is where I am today. I wish you a safe weekend. As I lay my head on my pillow, I will be thankful to be under a roof and out of harm’s way. And my thoughts will be with those who are not, because they have no choice.
We still have a choice.