The word acceptance has a nice sound to it. Accepted by friends when you were a child, accepted into college as a young adult or accepting a new job…are all positive experiences for us. Typically, with the act of acceptance comes the idea of change and that can be difficult for some of us.
Aging, and I can speak to this now with some experience, is another difficult adjustment for some but not one that is unexpected. Living a longer life will have its challenges but it still beats the alternative! I consider myself an active, healthy senior and this provides the opportunity to still be involved and contribute to my community. I feel very fortunate in that respect.
The changing of the seasons is another natural occurrence that some of us accept with optimism and others with dread. As a child, I dreaded the end of summer because it meant a return to school with the nuns at St. Theresa’s whom, let’s just say, I had developed a difficult relationship with. As a teacher, I still dreaded the end of summer, but for different reasons. Summer was a time to be with family, travel and often do a different job. I loved my teaching career, but the summer was special for many reasons and its passing was not always easy to accept.
The summer of 2023 was different. The changes to the climate that the scientists have been warning about since the 70’s came to fruition both locally and abroad. Record breaking heat waves, storms, flooding, drought, and wildfires were daily headlines and sure signs of a planet in trouble. The Canadian wildfire smoke this past summer hit me especially hard because it gave me an eerie and foreboding glimpse into how the future will likely look. We were told to stay indoors and refrain from certain activities and exercise! Is this a change we should be willing to accept as just a natural occurrence or is it just price we pay for ignoring science? Both are correct.
The climate crisis the world experienced this summer is a natural occurrence because we’ve ignored the science. That is a fact. The challenge for many of us now is whether we want to accept this climate change as the new reality or make the changes that are necessary to bring the planet back into a natural, healthy cycle.
We Americans, who have the largest carbon footprint on the globe, also have a unique opportunity to lead the world back from a future we will not want to accept. That said, to lead we must accept the science and be willing to make the changes necessary. That starts by agreeing that the Climate Crisis is a major threat. A PEW research survey from last March indicates that Americans rank the climate crisis as only 17 th out of 21 major issues that the government should act on.
What can we do? This version of Lifting the View is our contribution to keep the Climate Crisis on the forefront of what we hope is a new national discourse on climate. We’ve seen a glimpse of what a climate in crisis looks like this past summer and that is a future we shouldn’t accept. We all have reasons for acting on a problem and I’ve included a photo of one of my “reasons.”
We can change the conversation and keep the focus on solving this crisis. I hope you’ll join us.