Here’s why I may be a bit light on blog posts for the next week and a half: we have an obsolete heat and air system and a lot of collapsed ducts. We also have a trusted heat and air guy – an old school type craftsman who has helped us keep warm and cool at the proper times for over 20 years. He’s going to retire soon, so last spring we worked out a plan to replace everything.
Day one was rendered somewhat chaotic by our two rescue dogs who were exceedingly vocal in their disapproval of someone crawling around the attic hammering things and sawing things. As in vocal for hours. We will also be without heat for about 10 days, but you know what? We lucked out. Temperatures are mild, and today is a burn day, according to the county air quality board, so there’s a fire in the wood stove right now.
As I lit the fire, I turned on the PBS News Hour, which put our minor inconvenience into perspective as I watched the horrific suffering in the Philippines: tens of thousands of storm survivors with nothing – no shelter, no food, no water.
A few days ago, I tweeted a New Yorker blog post which discussed a leaked copy of the most recent installment of the I.P.C.C. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report, this one suggesting that “preparing for climate change,” an emerging theme in some quarters, is largely an illusory goal, at least for the most vulnerable portions of our world population.
The blog quotes the president in a speech he gave last spring: “Those of us in positions of responsibility, we’ll need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of posterity. Because you and your children, and your children’s children, will have to live with the consequences of our decisions.”
The way I see it, everyone living and breathing is in a “position of responsibility.” This is how I understand it for myself:
- Being responsible means I contribute to the relief effort for Haiyan, just as I have for Katrina, and Sandy, and the tornadoes last spring, and just as I will for the next superstorm.
- Being responsible means I cultivate gratitude for all I have and compassion for those who are suffering loss – all kinds of losses – and try to manifest this somehow every day.
- Being responsible means I can no longer tolerate those who would deny the reality of climate change. Leaving aside the blame game, the world is changing, and there’s no time for those who pretend otherwise.
Not much in relation to the magnitude of the problems we are just beginning to see. And yet…If enough people of goodwill face our situation and consider what may lie within their power to do…who knows what the outcomes may be?