This time will be remembered in history. What would I give for a glimpse into one of the future recounts of the changes that our country is in the process of and preparing to undergo?
Anyone trying to keep up with everything that is going on in the world today ends up with their head spinning so fast, it can make one motion sick.
It’s political, racial, ideological and environmental. It is the outcry of people who no longer feel that this world provides them a fair chance at a better future for themselves and their families.
While change is always scary, it is not that it has not been brewing; it is just now bubbling over into public outcry across the country.
I must say that it makes me hopeful to see so many young people rallying up and speaking out because I have felt for a while that it is their futures that are thrust into turmoil.
I have wondered for years why young people were not out in the streets demanding justice and taking back their right to choose their own future like we did at their age. However, change is not always change for the better; there have been many examples for that in the news lately.
I am going to make the point that the national unrest of the last weeks is closely connected to global environmental climate change, and that the changes to come will continue to disrupt the comfortable lifestyle many of us have grown up to take for granted.
Climate change has been a topic in science for more than half of my lifetime. The young people who are holding up signs for racial justice in the streets this week have been born into a world that knew better and did little to counteract the negative effects of temperatures that are literally spinning out of control.
Instead of using advanced technology for the betterment of the people and to mitigate our heavy impact on the planet, capitalistic interest has used it to encase people in isolation and increase the wealth gap between the very rich and the not so rich.
In the meantime, higher education has become unaffordable for the majority of young people in the country. Nonetheless, all this is overshadowed by the impact of the COVID-19.
Today, I came across an interesting interview about the connection between racial injustice and climate change in which the activist Elizabeth Yeampierre pointed out the historical context between slavery, the rise of colonial wealth and the impacts on the landscape.
She also mentions that black neighborhoods were the ones hardest hit by the hurricanes Maria and Katrina, are often clogged with higher local air pollution and the resulting respiratory health effects, and have suffered higher mortality rates from the new coronavirus, because it kills those with respiratory preconditions at a higher rate.
As I have mentioned in numerous articles over the years, global climate change affects everything from long-term weather and extreme weather events like hurricanes; to the harvest of fish, game and agricultural crops; to wildfires and draughts, freeze-thaw cycles and how many biting flies the caribou in the Arctic have to run from.
There will be more water shortages, crop failures, fishery collapses, flooding and storms, extreme snowfalls and heat waves, and yes, diseases and pandemics. Wow, this does not sound good. What are we going to do about it?
Good news flash: There are people in the streets expressing their desire for change. They do want to do something, they do want to see change, they do want to hold our government accountable and they are marching together for the diversity and love of life.
We live in a world with the most amazing abilities and technology of all times! Historically, we have more highly educated people than in most of humanities history. We know the solutions to many of the world’s problems. We have enough resources and money for everyone if we just distributed it better. According to the statistics published on the site inequality.org, the richest 5% of Americans own two-thirds of all the money!
About a year ago, I sat down and thought about the components of change. What does it take for people to make change happen? What do I need to hear or see or think about when my life gets stuck in a rut?
I came up with 12 motivators of change. These are: Community, Diversity, Beauty, Inspiration, Peace, Awareness, Stewardship, Empowerment, Connections, Growth, Love of Life and Celebration.
First, write them down on little cards and lay the cards in front of you. Pick one card that appeals to you for some reason and think about the term. Turn it over in your mind and look at it from a personal perspective, a societal viewpoint and natural environment context.
Write down your thoughts. Only do one or two motivators per day, but inspect each one of them. Then, you can lay them all out in front of you in four rows, each three cards deep. Approaching with a question on your mind, pick a row (or column) of cards and inspect what the combination of motivators brings to your mind. If you are a writer, start a little journal and see what you come up with over time.
The game will not solve any problems, but it may help you uncover your own inspiration, motivation in life and ambitions that are still hidden in your subconscious.
I miss the times when I was writing about hermit crabs and the smile on a child’s face as she discovered the feel of a sea cucumber, or the symbiosis between a sea star and its scale worm.
Perhaps those times will come again. The thing is, I have to write about what is on my mind and, as you noticed if you managed to read through this article, there is too much on my mind these days.
These are amazing times we live in and, as the perpetual optimist that I am, I see a glimmer of hope for the future, because change is the only constant and the only way forward.