Thursday, September 7, 2017

When the world is on Fire, are your beliefs tested?

Did you see the Facebook post by the People for Bernie Sander's? 

Doesn't it feel like Trump denied climate change and the climate said, "Hold my beer and watch this!"

I wasn't going to post this particular piece on climate change but after seeing "Hold my beer and watch this!", I knew I had to get this off my chest. You can comment and get it off your chest too. Then we can all wait. It is sad.

Images from Oregon Live. Smoke and ash filled the area in the PDX metro area.

Image from Oregon Live. The fire jumped the Columbia and is now burning on the Washington side too.

Here in the Portland metro area we could not breath the air this week. A teen dropped firecrackers over a cliff in the Columbia George and now both sides of the Columbia River are on fire. People have been evacuated from their homes. Most of the area affected is in the Columbia Gorge wilderness area or impossible to build on so only 2 homes have been lost.

It has been a record hot summer with temperatures in the 100s in September. Children went back to school this week but could not go outside to play because of ash in the air and hot temperatures. If I were a praying person, I would be praying for rain! We will see.

We are not complaining because we know that our earth is under siege everywhere. We are not unique. I suppose this place always has been a fragile ship floating through space but now it seems to me that there is no denying what we, the passengers on the ship have done to upset the wonderful balance of nature. As those people in Texas and in Florida know, disaster is a promise. Even here nature takes it toll with lightning and rain but in comparison to those places our life is a piece of cake.

When it comes to natural disaster, it becomes unclear who believes what about the why. Here in the United States we are surprised every time we have to endure a hurricanes of historic magnitude and fires that have no respect for wealth or fame. We somehow think we are in control. I began wondering how our belief systems is affecting our actions. Global warming and all that it implies is on my mind.

Let me see if I can explain. When a natural disaster related to weather hits your world, why do you think that is all happening? Who or what or even why is the universe so angry at us?
  1. If you believe that God is in charge of our world, do you think that he/she is angry at you and yours and testing your resolve. Are you being punished for some unnamed sin?
  2. If you believe that, do you simply throw your hands up and change nothing? Is donating money for relief enough?
  3. Do you believe that the theory of climate change is a hoax? 
  4. Wikipedia has detailed information on the various causes of the climate changing. That information includes information on the effects of Methane and Chlorofluorocarbon. Do you just ignore that?
  5. If you are a big business that thinks it would cost too much to do the right thing or your profit would go down, how much do you think cleaning up after a hurricane or rebuilding is going to cost? 
  6. If you believe that scientists are right and we are going to need to clean up our act even more, what do you think we should do?
It is so sad that when we were told the "Inconvenient Truth" all those years ago, the scientific theory became a political/religious ball tossed around by people that changed the documents showing the facts to suit their belief system. For them, the world is still flat, gravity is an act of God and the sun rotates around the earth. When a scientist discovered that the world was round, he was persecuted and maybe even punished. It took a very long time for people to realize the truth of the idea. But up until now, all of those battles that scientist have fought through history have not been about warning us that we are destroying the ground we stand on...the surface of the earth.

No matter how your look at it, I think we are up against it now. Even though we have come along way and responsible people are truly trying to do the right thing, I am wondering if the ship has sailed and we are all on board. The oceans are rising, the tundra melting and our land is falling into the sea. I am wondering if, like Noah on the Ark, we will have to sit on the mountain top until it is safe to begin a new way of life.

One thing I know for sure is that we cannot close our eyes or plug our ears anymore. Even when the ship is going down, the people on board bail water and hope. Sometimes it even works!

What do you think? Did the Universe say, "Hold my beer and watch this?"


Note:  1824 - French physicist Joseph Fourier describes the Earth's natural "greenhouse effect". He writes: "The temperature [of the Earth] can be augmented by the interposition of the atmosphere, because heat in the state of light finds less resistance in penetrating the air, than in re-passing into the air when converted into non-luminous heat." BBC News and Science


  1. Excellent post. I am starting to believe that the ship has sailed. There isn't enough money, time, or courage to do what is necessary. We could have taken relatively simple steps long ago, but it's probably too late now. Sometimes I'm glad I'm old... and don't have any kids. Sorry, I'm normally an optimistic person, but the world is on fire on one end and drowning on the other. But, let's instead talk about building a wall and idiotic, nonsensical 3am tweets.

    1. I'm with you...being optimistic does not mean we can put a bag over our head though. Maybe if we start to do better now....?

  2. Ditto excellent post!
    I too feel it's too late....I'm in Fla feeling that I can do no more that try to be somewhat prepared. I too am old and have seen better days. I think greed, ignorance and religion are to blame. But then that's what man is all about ...greed because for many, it's all about stuff and power, ignorance because they just won't question things and do research or at least do some critical thinking and religion because they are incapable of taking self responsibility and prefer mythology than science and love to judge others.

    1. Yes, the question is what to do now? If we bale like crazy maybe the ship won't go down. I, for one, am not going to just sit and wait. How about you?

  3. Remember "The Jetsons"? That sitcom looked to the future and predicted it based on what they knew then. Note that the Internet was nowhere in that show. And yet it has made more of a difference in our lives today than any of the Jetson Imaginings. We're basing our projections on what we know now. I suspect something will come along that we never imagined, and the change will happen.

    1. Thank you for that Linda. It is amazing what man can do when he is determined. Leadership will come from some unexpected place. :)

  4. I am so concerned for my kids (and grandkids if they have any, but I can understand why one does not, truthfully). This is the issue that bothers me most, because many issues can be corrected by new administrations and rights made right if you will, but when it comes to the planet, what's done is done.Hopefully there are still changes to make, but the earth at the beginning of that movie Intersteller is a scary thing.

    Barbara (and all), Living richly in Retirement is now at The Google gods lost my url in the renewal process it seems and it is out in space, never to be found again!

    1. I hate when the URL disappears don't you?

      My children and my grandchildren are always on my mind. I am following Linda down the "ingenuity of man" path. Keep on hoping.

  5. It is depressing to see how so many people seem to have just given up. My life mantra is now Jefferson's short quote "Hope is sweeter than despair". I refuse to throw in the towel on this one. Yes, like many things we seem to go to the edge of the cliff before we have real concern. Is it possible to reverse the climate change we already have? I don't know but I think it is possible to at least halt it where it is. The first step is to accept the dominant scientific knowledge on the subject.

    1. Jefferson was the ultimate pragmatist. He just did what had to be done and let the rest follow. I liked that about him. Isn't it so true that "Hope is sweeter than despair." So very very true!

      Thank you again RJ for being you!



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