Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy With You

I'm not feeling it lately, I gotta be honest. My kids are great. My husband is great. Our life is great. However...

I am sad. I feel overwhelmed by the news lately and what I know to be true--we're all in trouble. When I am only concerned with my own life and our own little struggles and triumphs (which when in the midst of them are not little at all), I am distracted and blissfully unaware. I am exceedingly lucky to not have many problems in my life. For this, I am grateful.

My kids are healthy. They are wonderful. My husband and I are both mostly healthy (seasonal allergies stink--yes, we use a neti pot, and consume local honey--perhaps more probiotics or some acupuncture is in order).

It's just that lately I see what is happening in the world and a pattern is emerging. HAS emerged. I feel doomed by it. WE ARE SCREWED!!!!

I think we have reached the tipping point and have gone right over the edge. I think we are past the tipping point.

This summer:

  • a fifth of Pakistan is under water because of crazy flooding
  • hundreds have died in China because of mud slides due to flooding
  • the Urals in Russia were/are on fire causing terrible pollution in Moscow
  • there is drought in numerous places around the world--our own country has broken heat records in many places
  • a gigantic (really, monstrous proportion) chunk of ice broke off of a glacier in Greenland--it's the size of four Manhattans or so and is now bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean

Now, I know storms come and go. I'm a Chicago girl. I grew up here with extreme weather--hot and muggy summers, cold and snowy winters. I know weather happens here and elsewhere. I know there are monsoons and loads of people get flooded out every year in Bangladesh and other parts of Southeast Asia. But, the points I listed above seem kind of unprecedented. This is a lot to happen all at once.

I am feeling defeated by it all. And, really, I feel like I should turn that feeling of defeat into rage and passion and motivation so that I can join others so we can all DO SOMETHING about it.

It seems so silly to not buy new things and recycle and commute to work on a bike when glaciers all over the world are melting and drought is causing fire which is destroying crops and bees are giving up the ghost and no longer there to pollinate everything. What are our little actions in the face of all of that?

What we need are policy changes worldwide that are serious and comprehensive. We need to get together on this and quit being distracted by buying green and so thinking we have a moral edge on those who don't. Biodegradable umbrellas aren't going to slow climate change--they just aren't! It is silly and self indulgent to think otherwise.

God damn it--we are fucking up here and buying a bunch of greenwashed products isn't going to save endangered species or stop Ames Iowa from being flooded out where they have no drinking water.

10,000 year floods seem to be happening with amazing frequency these days. (Psst. Warmer air holds more water. So, snow storms are bigger too...) If you are not in drought, you are flooded out. Rhymin' timin'!!

So, I'm feeling sad and useless. I'm busy homeschooling my kids, which has its own inherent value, but isn't there some way to act to affect change also? We need it now and in a big way.

I heard this group on NPR, The Bewitched Hands on top of our Heads. Isn't that an interesting name? They are French (but sing a lot in English). Oh, by the way, our French is going tres bien! I don't know how to put in accent marks as I type, but believe me they are there in spirit.

Although I am sad, I am plugging away and helping my kids learn and doing things to contribute and have fun. This song is uplifting and fun, so enjoy it--EVEN IF WE ARE SO SCREWED!!!!

Happy With You


twigandtoadstool said...'re absolutely right, when you stop to think about what is wrong is can seem overwhelming and hopeless. And yet, as parents we have to hold onto hope...for the sake of our children, and for their children. Sometimes too, when you are so sensitive to the goings on in the world, it's better to just not know. Turn off the radio or tv. Ignorance really is bliss. Really we can just work on changing our own bad habits and hope that we inspire others to do the same. By blogging too, you never know who you may affect in a positive way. Don't lose hope!
xo maureen

Marcie said...

Hi! I just found your blog and hope to follow along. But I wanted to ask you where you are getting your overall information regarding climate change. I have read a few sources of primary information on climate change and found information which is contrary to the message that you seem to have embraced. I'm curious to know more about how you didn't buy much in 2008 and what that included . . . I'll poke around here a bit more . . .

Laura said...

twigandtoadstool, those are very reassuring words. I will not lose hope!

Marcie, I will get back to you on this. Too busy with play tech week to post right now--but, I will. Hang on! Thanks for commenting.

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