Tough Love

All photos were taken inside Yosemite National Park in California before devastating wildfires began frequenting the area.

Warning: this is not my typical post.  It may be hard to read.  It was certainly difficult to write.  I don’t want to believe what I’m about to share.  But I do.  I must.  We all must.

Global warming is changing us.  We occasionally recognize it in the form of severe flooding, a killer heat wave, or a hurricane that is amongst the largest, strongest & most devastating we’ve seen.  But we are quickly headed toward a time in which these and other climate-related catastrophes will be the norm.  Because our civilization is doing so much harm so fast, the bits and pieces of news we receive about it are often outdated.  And, as for the 2016 Paris Agreement’s goal of maintaining a global temperature of less than 2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, we are already over 1 degree warmer.  More damage has been done over the past 30 years than in all the rest of humanity’s history.

As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you.  Climate change is one of those exceptions. ~Al Gore, Former US Vice-President & Environmentalist

David Wallace-Wells is a journalist who has written extensively on climate change for New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian, and authored the book The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, published in 2019.  To summarize some of the ideas in his book, if your primary concern is rising sea levels brought about by the melting of the polar ice caps, you should know that there are much more damaging effects in store.  All that Arctic ice has kept who-knows-how-much carbon, the main driver of global warming, out of our atmosphere for thousands of years.  It has also served to contain bygone diseases, keeping them dormant.  Less ice means less reflection of the sun, contributing to even more heat.  Increased temperatures can result in more frequent drought, full desertification of some areas, and decreased crop production.  Fossil fuel particulate pollution will further contaminate our air & waters.  Due to large swathes of land becoming uninhabitable from rising sea levels and sweltering heat, millions may be forced to migrate.  And the likelihood these challenges will culminate in increased conflict, both locally and worldwide, is very good.  What’s more, continued warming can make the whole of the earth inhospitable to humans, bringing us to extinction.

According to a recent policy paper from Australia’s Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration, there’s a good chance society could collapse as soon as 2050 if serious mitigation actions aren’t taken in the next decade (meaning prior to 2030.)  Climate scientists are known to consistently underestimate the severity of what is actually happening, the paper warns.

In a short TED talk, David Wallace-Wells suggests paradigm-changing solutions.  He explains science isn’t stopping us from taking action, and neither is technology. We have the tools we need today to begin. Of course, we also have the tools we need to end global poverty, epidemic disease, and the abuse of women as well. Which is why more than new tools, we need a new politics, a way of overcoming all those human obstacles — our culture, our economics, our status quo bias, our disinterest in taking seriously anything that really scares us. Our shortsightedness. Our sense of self-interest. And the selfishness of the world’s rich and powerful who have the least incentive to change anything. 


Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ~Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist

So, what can you and I do?  First of all, we can stop hiding behind the idea that we’re helpless.  Examine your choices around activities like eating, shopping, & vacationing, and make changes in ways, big & small, that will result in the wealthy elite benefiting less from your dollars.  Don’t vote for political candidates who deny climate change or support environmentally unfriendly industries.  If you must continue to eat meat, eat less of it, and buy only from companies that don’t utilize factory farms.  Plant more trees, flowers, & shrubs, and grow your own food.  Contribute your time or money to environmental causes.  Learn & practice indigenous ways.  Challenge your family to discover ways to live more sustainably.  Strike up tough conversations about global warming with friends.  Teach your children and grandchildren the importance of living in a manner that embraces all of life.  Write letters to your congress person, or the editor of your newspaper or favorite newsletter.  Blog about it.  Bring it up on Facebook and Twitter.  Share this write-up. 

Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air or drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. ~Carl Sagan

If you’ve read this entire post, congratulations and thank you.  It’s difficult to read about things that make us uncomfortable.  But the truth of these impending dangers can no longer be ignored, denied, or sugar-coated.  Some of the negative effects of global warming are already upon us.  Our individual lives and our society will suffer dramatically in upcoming years if we don’t begin to do things differently.

Blessings for Speedy Change,

Lisa

The content of this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented herein. Any statements about the possible health benefits of any subject discussed have not been evaluated by medical professionals or the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.

86 thoughts on “Tough Love

  1. Excellent reminder to care about our environment, thank you. Agree, it is good to figure out all the (even little) ways we can have a personal impact and protect our environment and the planet as much as possible.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. such an amazing post as always Lisa!
    So sad to see the dry water run dry.
    💖💖

    This is imperative “e can stop hiding behind the idea that we’re helpless. Examine your choices around activities like eating, shopping, & vacationing, and make changes in ways, big & small, that will result in the wealthy elite benefiting less from your dollars.”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Thank you so much for this, Lisa. You are absolutely right and it weighs on my heart and mind. Our children and grandchildren deserve a clean and healthy environment and future. Mother Earth deserves respect, love and compassionate care. We must be mindful and take action before it’s too late.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. We need all the reminders we can get to do our part in making the personal changes needed to have an impact on our environment. It is hard to think about it, but it is absolutely necessary for us and future generations. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Lisa, thanks for adding your voice to this existential crisis that humanity must address…and fast. I’ve read David Wallace-Wells’ book, but the book that shook me to the core is Deep Adaptation: Navigating the Realities of Climate Chaos Edited by Jem Bendell & Rupert Read (UK/USA, 2021). I’ve shared a three-part overview of their book on my blog and, starting this Sunday, will share my reflections on what it would mean for us to make the “shifts in being” that they propose in the likelihood of a global societal collapse in a not-too-distant future. As you rightly say: “It’s difficult to read about things that make us uncomfortable.” The challenge I’ve taken on with my series of reflections is to use a narrative form that readers will find engaging, less uncomfortable, and, hopefully, lead to a deeper awareness of what we have become as a species that has led us to this moment in time. Change is terrifying. But we must change if we are to survive as a species.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. First I love that quote and have it saved among my collection of them.
    And I don’t think this was hard to read…it’s just hard for people to think about changing their habits. But those are the habits that cause issues in the first place. Baby steps, I always say,
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, mistermuse. Glad you liked the photos. Due to frequent raging wildfires inside the park, I fear that many will never witness the grandeur and beauty that I was fortunate enough to see. Let’s all cross fingers & toes that the bill gets passed. Thank you for your visit. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant post Lisa. It’s terrifying what’s happening to our world and we can and must do something about it. Every little thing we do helps, but we all need to step up and do more. Thank you for bringing this to the top of our minds.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Lisa, this is one heck of a great post! It would be good if the leaders of the world would ALL join together on this subject and DO SOMETHING instead of giving sound-bytes! The climate problems that we are facing now and in the future were predicted 40 years ago by scientists working for the oil and gas industries (one extra large oil company in particular)! Unfortunately, rather than work towards solving the problems, they have been covering up their own science, their own findings, and telling the world that they are “clean”. It is astonishing that there are still “leaders” saying that climate change is a hoax! All extraction of fossil fuels whether it’s coal, oil, or gas is destroying our beautiful Earth. Fracking of shale (for “natural” gas; coal and oil are also natural) may produce less CO2 but huge amounts of methane are being released (leaked) and that gas is just compounding climate change! Here I am in my 70s telling myself thank goodness I’ll not be around to experience the changes to come! But what future do my children and grandchildren have? Perhaps Captain Kirk will save them from the holocaust to come! We ordinary folk can do so much to help the situation but unless the biggest players work together there is little hope for humanity.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. A frightening thought…. 2050 is not long! Of course we can all do a lot together and every little bit helps. But it is mainly the large profit-making companies where money takes precedence over the survival of our earth, which are the cause. Not to mention countries where corruption is rampant and where both nature and man are destroyed and chased away. Who dares to answer that? What is happening in the Amazon is terrible and I don’t think anyone will ever be able to stop it. I really hope I’m wrong….. because then there is still hope 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi, Rudi, very frightening thoughts, indeed. You are right, the rich multinationals, backed by politicians interested in deepening their own pockets, are responsible for much of our problems. Like you, I sometimes have thoughts that things are going to continue on their present trajectory, and I, too, hope I’m wrong. Thanks for sharing some of your time with me this week. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amen to all of what you said, Lisa. We were in Idaho last week and the smile from the fire in Idaho was drifting everywhere. We are at the breaking point yet people want to argue about inane things so they don’t have to address the real issues. Hoping the most event developments in congress — fossil fuel side deals with Manchin notwithstanding — will be a solid if albeit late start. 🤞

    Liked by 3 people

  11. As human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. Those words are so weighted with truth, the consequences of which are truly frightening. We must all move as one and yet we are so fractured and trapped in our small bubbles of micro concerns. It is deeply troubling.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is a serious topic, and I hear that it is more and more likely to be tabled in favor of other topics and issues. I read today that in most countries it is not a political topic as it is here. That would be a good start – to take it off the political table. There is no reason that all of us should not be concerned about global warming.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for bringing up this important topic Lisa. I’ve lived simply for years and know we each can make decisions that will help, but I believe only systemic changes at the level of our economic and political systems will turn the tide. We need new economic values that are more about quality of life (for humans and all life) instead of profits and endless growth. I’m doubtful we’ll make the tough changes. I hold hope that the earth will purge and cleanse herself of the parasite we’ve become.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Brad, thanks for your comment. I’m sure the love we’re getting from the Earth will become even tougher & will eventually result in our demise. I just hope it’s not in the foreseeable future! There’s so much more beauty & adventure that I want to experience (and I wish the same for others) first! Have a great week! 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post! Timely, relevant and written with good intention. All that is missing is political will. Yesterday was a good start (in the Senate) but I wonder what it will take for people to prioritize meaningful policy to protect a world they will never see. Seems we need a big heart-shift. Thanks for sharing this. Great info!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. You care so much for nature Lisa … and if we could just adopt that feeling you’re portraying here, we will already be halfway there!
    I mean, by just looking at your photos … that made me realise we should open our eyes to what nature is willing to give us (it surely shouldn’t be so difficult to give back in return). Great post and thank you for your caring heart 🌸.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thank you for presenting this information in such a clear format to read and understand in its totality. It is a hard subject to write about. It is something we all have to think about. It is great that you noted that every single person shares in the responsibility for how we care for the earth. It is not someone else’s problem or some conglomerate that will fix it. We make choices every day and our choices matter. We also have the responsibility of educating our children and grandchildren.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Thanks, Lisa for writing about such an serious but important topic. I wonder where we are heading? What is Earth’s future? Times are changing fast. We have a big responsibility on our shoulders now. Climate is changing so why aren’t we?
    I’m gonna share this post on my social media.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thanks for this insightful post Lisa. It is indeed distressing when you consider the damage we have done to our beautiful planet. Sadly, rampant consumerism has created a culture and mindset where everything (including people) is throwaway.

    P.S. If you’re interested, later this month I’m kicking off a collaboration with several like-minded bloggers. It’s called the “Climate Change Collective”. Our aim is to keep messages about climate change top of mind for our readers. Let me know if you’d like to join us and I can send you the details.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your adding to the conversation, Michelle. And I believe you’re right about our throwaway culture. I recently watched a documentary called Samsara & it really illustrated your point. Can I ask that you send details on the collaborative without a commitment? Thanks, my friend. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

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