Ever since November retreat where I met Mary Pipher and read her most recent book, The Green Boat, my life has taken a change. I’m one of those thousands of people who have largely stuck my head in the sand about Climate Change. In spite of all the evidence surrounding this topic, in spite of someone who purports to believe in science and enjoys many of the luxuries it provides, I somehow wanted to believe that scientist had gotten this wrong and that we’d be OK. But thanks to Pipher and all her supporting research, I’ve come to what environmentalist call “the oh shit” moment. And with it all crippling despair that comes with it.
I wonder if a collection of astronomer came together and all agreed that the earth was definitely going to be hit with a planet-destroying meteor in fifty years, there would be other astronomer to refute it. Then if the meteor-believers came back and said we could, as a world community come up with the means to divert this meteor, but our chances would be better, if we did something about sooner than later, what do you think the world community would do? It certainly would be more convenient to believe the meteor-refuters; make you feel better too. However, if you did really believe the meteor is coming, everything else pales in the shadow of that meteor. War, terrorism, balanced budgets, the EU, Wall Street, or A Rod’s one year suspension, all become that many more deck chairs on the Titanic to re-arranged.
Well the meteor is coming in the form of climate change! I know this because of the shadow it casts. That shadow was revealed to by the website: What Is Missing, designed by Maya Lin. This was the artist who designed the Vietnam War memorial. This site shows us species, habitats, and environments that use to exist, but have been lost because of human interaction. This is the shadow that lomes over any debate about global warming. Looking at the past, seeing clearly the present, there can be little debate about the trajectory of our future, if we don’t change.
Yet ,like Mary Pipher’s The Green Boat, Maya Lin’s site offers solutions and hope, if one spends time with either. When I encountered my “oh shit” angst, I wanted to run out into the streets and yellto the world we need to drop everything and reduce our carbon footprint. But what good is a yogi in straight jacket and padded cell. So I said nothing. Now I realize it needs to be addressed; it needs to be talked about, it needs to be recognized. That’s the starting point. I encourage you to read The Green Boat and if that’s too much, take 30 minutes and watch the video on this blog’s prior entry, Reconnecting to the Web of Life. Mary Pipher does a wonderful job of summarizing her book. Then go the What Is Missing site. Give yourself another 30 minutes on it. Without any judgements, see what it has to offer, by one of the world’s most renown living artists. It’s a place to start to wake up.