When we were discussing this week’s blog, Alex in our office suggested writing about the weather and its present extremes. My initial reaction was, “what is there to write about, we all know it is getting weird so what is the big deal?” But the more I mulled it over the more I realised that in light of my recent past it is a very big deal.
Years ago when I regularly sailed the Atlantic we were in service to world forecasting by reporting to the UK weather station in Bracknell every 6 hours about conditions in our location, and as I was making my living by the wind I became somewhat of a student. Also during the hurricane season the American weather service loved that there was a vessel in the mid-Atlantic close to hurricanes that could report and track storms so again I got to learn a little about hurricanes. I learnt that for a hurricane to form it needs basically one thing and that is warm water, usually 27 degrees or over. However an increase of 1 degree in ocean temperature increases hurricane wind speeds by 50%.
That is a very scary scenario if you live on the water but if we accept the inter connectivity of things then that is also a scary thought for us wherever we are. The Paris Climate Change Conference last November reached an amazing consensus about limiting the temperature increase of our planet to a 2-degree rise. But we might start to suspect that even that will create massive changes in our environment. Will we be able to adapt and sustain ourselves in this new world?
Going back to the microcosm, my thoughts turn to my health and me. I recognise that my recent stroke was basically because I was living in a way that was not sustainable; the way I had been living lacked awareness and sensitivity and one thing I have learned through ACIM and Psychology of Vision is that we get away with nothing. We cannot live un-sustainably and expect things to work well for us.
In my sailing days I enjoyed a book by Lyall Watson called “Heaven’s Breath” which was all about wind and weather systems and their effect on us physically, mentally and emotionally and I now recognise the reverse is also true: as the weather affects us, we also affect the weather.
What is happening with our weather and our climate is not all because of “El Nino”, which in turn is caused by the slight heating of water in the Pacific Ocean. It is caused by our behaviours, collectively and individually. We need to take a much closer look at ourselves and recognise the need for our change, to grow our awareness and to look closely at our lives. How sustainably are we behaving and if not for ourselves then for our children and theirs?
We have grown arrogant in our belief in our superiority over our world, thinking we are immune to and estranged from what is going on. Yet the humble mosquito is today a massive threat to us, a potential pandemic following so closely on the heels of Ebola. It is time for us to learn and to act if we want to leave this planet a better place than we found it.
And we’re in this process together. It is not about feeling guilty for the car you drive or the food you may throw away, it is about making new choices every week or every month on the path to a more sustainable future. It feels like more of us are moving in that direction so can we turn that path into a mighty river?