Ok — From Fracking the past two weeks to wasps. Tipping my hand here: I find myself thinking of the former at the causal edge of ongoing climate degradation while the latter live on the continuous curve of the climate’s changes. That, of course, places wasps in the company of all breathing and otherwise animate things (like people, rivers, pine cones, lentils …).
In particular, wasps have been on my mind because of the one from a swarm that burst forth from beneath a dormant lavender bush. Their home had been unknowingly rocked with the resolute leaf removal effort of my raking buddy. He let out three sharp yelps spaced according to the moment of three stings from the swarm. I took off toward the street with one of the frightened beings was trapped in my hood. I didn’t know it was there until it cut loose on the front of my neck just to the right of my wind pipe. Ouch. And now, in the wake, I’m sporting a charmingly brontosaurus-like neck line that itches alternately like wild fire and an enormous sneeze that won’t happen.
There is evidence that some wasp populations are dropping (e.g., the fig wasp — thus threatening the yield of fig crops) and others are growing — in both numbers and aggressiveness. The attribution is changes in the climate, particularly overall milder temperatures in wasp habitats. That symptom of climate change is, today, annoying and itchy but could easily becomes dangerous (like the million wasp hive — 6 ft X 8 ft — found this past summer on private land in Central Florida).
There is, however, far more urgent evidence of climate change — REALLY. WE MUST GET THIS. Evidence in the lives lost to unseasonal and brutal tornadoes this week in the U.S. midwest on the heels of the horror and growing casualties of the Philippines typhoon.
This week at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, the evidence is coming into stark focus as voices from the poorest and most economically and politically oppressed communities of the world are uniting to demand attention. Their message is painfully clear. With vast disproportion, the land upon which they live is hit by lethal weather events.
So what will it be? What will it take for the people of power and access to admit and act immediately to correct our increasingly dangerous climate? And no less urgent — when will those of us who consider ourselves to be just part of the masses LISTEN to the data and to the unspeakably aggrieved people of these horrible and increasingly frequent weather events? What will it take for us to demand action by our leaders — public, corporate, religious?
Marilyn Hudson asks that question in her interview on fracking (last week’s blog). Harold Gattensby asks that question when he lifts his voice and arms calling us all to our stewardship and into our vast relationship with each other.
Then there are the models, very few, of how we can more — of how we are not stuck. Models like that offered by the 72 Alaska Native Tribes and Canada First Nations who devote themselves in unified coalition and as individual communities acting toward their goal of drinking from the Yukon River in 50 years time.
We are not at all powerless here.
What will you do today to listen? What will you do to act — locally — right in the middle of your life? Individually and in affiliation — in coalition?
People are dying — the animals and land and water are stressed. But these are only words and my neck itches. And that is the point. It is from here in the comfort of time to write a blog — time to whine about a wasp sting — from here that I and any of you reading must each take our next step.
You know where you have influence. Use it. Matters of our air and water and land are simply matters of life and death.
This is where we are.