By Ernie McCray
A hawk flies on gentle breezes outside my window, crowing away, perhaps seeking its prey or a mate, all unfolding on one of those “Reasons Why I Live in San Diego” kind of days: so lovely and warm, giving an appearance that, when it comes to weather, all is well with the world.
Then I think of the other day when my son and I ducked into the theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Museum to see “Extreme Weather,” an IMAX movie that took us on a breathtaking 360-degree tour of scenes that remind us that, climate-wise, we earthlings are in deep ca-ca.
All is definitely not well. We’ve jabbed and danced around and clowned, burning coal and oil and natural gas and bulldozed and chopped down our rain forests, backing Mother Nature up against the ropes, leaving her no choice but to come off those ropes and huff and puff and blow us and our houses down!
And there’s no bell to be rung so we can go to our corner and rest and strategize how to fight back – because Mother Nature, being the “Float like a butterfly, Sting Like a Bee” dynamic force she is, ain’t holding nothing back. Ever.
Oh, we think we’ve seen severe drought and overwhelming floods. Not like the ones we’re going to see.
“Extreme Weather” takes you right to where Mother Nature brings down 300-foot tall glaciers in Alaska, ice that has stood for ages; to where she has unleashed lightning in California forests, setting trees ablaze that segue into massive infernos; to Oklahoma where she has let loose deadly tornadoes, one after another.
It was all exciting and entertaining, let me tell you. And frightening. But not as frightening as knowing that at a time, when the world more than ever needs to address how we might best slow Mother Nature down a tad – our government just pooh-poohs the very idea of climate change.
We’ve never done enough and now we entertain the idea of doing nothing. Our president, without a care, through one of his stooges, boldly announces to us, regarding environmental issues and our national budget: “We’re not spending money on that anymore. We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
With such an attitude we’ve got two storms to contend with: Mother Nature’s violent storms and the seemingly infinite storms of ignorance and stupidity that run rampant through the White House and in the Congress and Senate in Washington D.C.
They want to end programs that protect our air from being fouled.
They show that they aren’t the least bit interested in even trying to understand the problem as they go after funds that support diplomatic efforts to slow climate change and cut scientific missions to study the climate.
Their “America First” mentality comes to the fore as they mess with money that’s been set aside for climate change research and international climate change programs. I read about how we’ve helped India, a major greenhouse emitter, one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, set up clean energy programs.
It seems that should be how our country is in the world, a giver, a helping hand, a friend, a beacon of hope.
But hope doesn’t spring from the kind of unbridled lack of knowledge and arrogance that Trump and his folks seem to bask in.
All caught up in their self-importance they refuse to view global warming as what it is: a threat to humankind, a destabilizing force in the world.
And they are equally as threatening to humanity and the world as they ignore forces of nature that require some tending to.
They don’t care to protect the citizens of the world and that’s pretty much because, as they’ve shown, they’re angry with the world, attacking people, in some way, daily: Muslims, Mexicans, women, gay folks, judges, journalists, blacks and poor whites, actors, comedians, FBI, CIA, the disabled, his predecessor, seniors, infants, students, artists, faithful allies around the globe…
With Mother Nature we can at least prepare. Often we have warnings which allow us to evacuate or nail boards over our windows or make it to the basement for safety.
With the Trump administration, we never know what kind of storm is going to come our way day to day, although we know it’s going to be confusing and hurtful and filled with innuendos and unadulterated lies.
The only way to weather the White House’s troubling attitudes towards not wanting to protect our planet for the wellbeing of generations down the line is take to the streets and let it be known that we won’t allow them to ignore the challenges that climate change brings to our lives.
And, of course it would be wise if, in our personal lives, we lean towards energy efficiency, solar and wind, and buy organic and trim our waste…
We have some tremendous storms both political and natural to weather.
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