Helplessly Hoping?

Watching the slow motion disaster of Hurricane Dorian, I am reminded of feeling similarly helpless as I watched Hurricane Katrina devastate New Orleans in 2005. Unfortunately Dorian seems to validate the assertion that we will see more powerful storms due to warmer waters, which are due to climate chaos. There may be a need to create a classification of Category 6 Hurricanes (currently the classification only goes to Category 5). Rising ocean levels will add to the devastation as future, even more powerful storms appear.

Of course climate disasters are not limited to coastal areas. This blog post describes the devastation of vast areas of forest in Wisconsin, described by my friend Peter Clay.

I don’t remember hearing about the massive evacuation of 36,000 people from Darwin, Australia, in 1974. Unfortunately this will become more common.

Increasingly after my speaking events, I catch myself unexpectedly weeping in my hotel room or on flights home. Every now and then, the reality of what the science is saying manages to thaw the emotionally frozen part of myself I need to maintain to do my job. In those moments, what surfaces is pure grief. It’s the only feeling that comes close to the pain I felt processing the severity of my dad’s brain injury. Being willing to acknowledge the arrival of the point of no return is an act of bravery.

This year the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society’s annual conference was held in Darwin, where the infamous Cyclone Tracy struck on Christmas Day in 1974, virtually demolishing the entire city. More than 70 per cent of the city’s buildings, including 80 per cent of its houses, were destroyed. Seventy-one people were killed and most of the 48,000 residents made homeless. Conditions were so dire that around 36,000 people were evacuated, many by military aircraft. It was a disaster of monumental proportions.

There is a very rational reason why Australian schoolkids are now taking to the streets – the immensity of what is at stake is truly staggering. Staying silent about this planetary emergency no longer feels like an option for me either. Given how disconnected policy is from scientific reality in this country, an urgent and pragmatic national conversation is now essential. Otherwise, living on a destabilised planet is the terrible truth that we will all face.

The terrible truth of climate change, by Joëlle Gergis, The Monthly, August, 2019

For some years now I’ve been talking and writing about the idea of an Overground Railroad. Similar to the Underground Railroad, an Overground Railroad could be a way to prepare for the mass migration of people from coastal areas to the middle of the country. Unfortunately as we saw this spring with the massive flooding of the Missouri River, the Midwest will also continue to experience climate chaos.

So, not sure if you noticed, but the Amazon RAINforest has been on fire for the past 3 weeks!
Translation: If we don’t do something about this out of control circus, our children are f…..d.
The government isn’t going to do a thing to help us.. so quit waiting for that delusion to play out…
It’s up to us.
What are you willing to do for your children? Your grandchildren? How far will you go? What is your truth when it comes to the edge?
Well it’s time to go to your edge, or else your children’s future is over!
Let this be the wake up to take action. In your life. In your community.
Now is all we have and our opportunity to make a difference is slipping by rapidly.
Quit thinking about the change you want to see and just be it! Today! NOW! Later is no longer an option….

Joshua Taflinger

Some thoughts about what we can do.

To practice hope is to face hard truths, harder truths than you can face without the practice of hope. You can’t navigate dark places without a light, and hope is that light for humanity’s dark places.

Quinn Norton

Helplessly hoping her harlequin hovers nearby
Awaiting a word
Gasping at glimpses of gentle true spirit he runs
Wishing he could fly
Only to trip at the sound of goodbye

Wordlessly watching he waits by the window and wonders
At the empty place inside
Heartlessly helping himself to her bad dreams he worries
Did he hear a good-bye?
Or even hello?

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other

Stand by the stairway you’ll see something certain to tell you
Confusion has its cost
Love isn’t lying it’s loose in a lady who lingers
Saying she is lost
And choking on hello

They are one person
They are two alone
They are three together
They are for each other

Helplessly Hoping, Crosby, Stills and Nash
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