It has been so heartbreaking for me to watch the events unfold on the ground in Texas this past week. Yes, it’s inspiring to see all of the heroic efforts being made by both citizens and the military, to rescue thousands of people. And, yes, it has also been heartening to see the way that communities all across the US are rallying to support Texans and let them know that we haven’t forgotten about them, and we want to help.
We all have different ways of helping when a natural disaster hits anywhere in the US. We can donate money, or we can create campaigns and raise money. We can load up flatbed trucks with food and supplies and deliver them. We can pray or meditate for the well-being of our neighbors.
And, something else we can do, which I believe is extremely important, is to be committed to LEARNING about how to live in a more eco-intelligent way on our planet. Because, if we are to have any hope of saving ourselves and our future (from moré catastrophic environmental/weather related events), we need to understand the root cause of them.
Their root cause, most scientists agree, relates to human behavior, -most specifically behaviors that create more carbon and pollution in the environment, which traps heat in the atmosphere and warms the oceans, etc.
This past week, when so many news stories were focused on stories of people’s rescue and survival, I kept thinking to myself: Are Texans (and Texas officials) ready to face the connection between our global climate crisis and the conditions that made Hurricane Harvey possible? Nobody, it seemed, was talking about it on the news. While I wished I could teleport myself and other concerned activities down to Texas so we could yell out our concern from the top of someone’s roof, I knew this wasn’t possible, and I also knew, that at a time of crisis, it would not be welcomed or prioritized.
Nevertheless, I was relieved when Bernie Sanders went on TV to speak candidly about the connection between "Harvey" and climate change that he believes is real. I was also encouraged to hear David Gergen address the issue. Gergen is a political commentator and former presidential advisor who served during the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He has been quite outspoken about (what he sees as) Donald Trump’s shortsightedness on the issue of climate change.
Now that Texas is living though an environmental disaster of epic proportions whose effects are sure to persist for years to come, and now that more families are being polluted by toxic air (think petrochemical waste, smoke, and mold) and polluted water (think chemicals, sewage, and bacteria) what will Texan officials and our government do?
Will they encourage people to “get back on their feet” as quickly as possible, by rebuilding their homes in the same exact spots? Or will they pause and think long and hard about a better, safer, long-term rebuilding strategy that serves to get people in the Houston area (and surrounding areas) out of harm’s way?
I don’t have all of the answers. But what I do know in my heart, is that,. Mother Nature is wailing at us humans, to pay attention to what is happening to her terrestrial body. Do we really need to witness one hundred more weather events like “Harvey”, before we take bold action to stop the legislative policies that allow more stress on our environment?
Recently, we experienced a solar eclipse. In ancient times, eclipses were thought to fortell negative events. While I’m not superstitious, I do believe that eclipses symbolize a time of change, -often rapid, unexpected change that is set into motion by both external and internal forces. I believe they instigate change in a way that might be very uncomfortable for humans and the Earth, but which might ultimately lead us to grow and evolve.
With a full moon cresting this week (in “the water sign” of Pisces) there will likely be a strong focus on water, water related problems (let’s hope that Hurricane Irma keeps her distance!), and hopefully, water related solutions!
Candia Lea Cole
Founder, Eco-Learning Legacies
P.S. If you want to do something good for yourself, your family, and/or your community that helps you to detoxify and heal from the environmental toxins that pervade our environment and lifestyles, I invite you to take a sneak peek at the new certification training I am putting the finishing touches on this month. You can check it out here! http://www.ecointelligenteating.com/autism-mentor-training
Environmental illness is not going away anytime soon. And, since we are all affected (whether we realize it or not), we need tools to assist us in “getting well” and “relearning how to listen to our innate eco-intelligence!”