As the smoke thickens, I appreciate Roger’s articulation of a vision for the future that contains hope, something we so desperately need.
by Roger Delmar, Port Townsend, Washington
I think it is fair to say that many of us have been literally brought to our knees over the last months. But as we struggle to cope with both a disastrous Trump presidency and a raging pandemic, the last few days have brought to the forefront the specter that has been hiding in the shadows behind those dual monsters. Images from the sun shrouding red skies of the California Bay Area, and similar images from Portland and now here in Puget Sound, remind us that climate change is real. It is making itself more and more apparent in horrific brush and forest fires, record high temperatures, drought; and at the other extreme, violent storms and devastating flooding ravage the country.
Reality tells me this is just a foretaste of what faces us in coming years. Our failure to respond to what science has been telling us for decades is catching up with us. How do we hope to pass through the coming decades with the least possible suffering and turmoil?
I am currently reading the book Great Tide Rising by Kathleen Dean Moore. In it, she beautifully articulates that the real divide in America is not between left and right or Republican and Democrat, but between those who are committed to maintaining the status quo of human dominance and the superiority of an elite few, and those who believe that this centuries old worldview has proven itself to be unsustainable and destructive to the earth and all its inhabitants. It has led us into a blind alley cul-de-sac, with no way out and no future. We must rethink who we are and how we need to be on this one little planet.
The old worldview says we are the masters, here to dominate and subdue the earth. For many of us, it is not hard to see that this is clearly not so. We have no real control over weather or storm. We are not “masters” after all. We are composed of earth elements, needing water, oxygen, sunlight and good earth foods to survive. If earth is shattered, we go with her. We are part of her and dependent on her health and wellbeing. It is not for us to subdue and dominate; but to protect, nurture, and love!
The great tide rising is a growing urgency among an ever-expanding number of people to reimagine who we are and how we develop a sustainable way of being together on this one fragile but awesomely beautiful earth. We can re-envision not just who we are but how society must organize and function. Resources are finite, we are drowning in our waste, profit can no longer be the sole measurement of a successful enterprise. We can even imagine some kind of planet-wide governance structure. There is so much to do if we are to get through the next decades.
So, I can only say, fasten your seat belts, and be ready and open for great change. The ravages of Donald Trump and Covid-19, in spite of every negative aspect, may still serve to open the doors to a new beginning. That is, if we do get rid of Trump and Company. That is the first order of business!