Ask Better Questions.|
Fires in Maui? Floods in Las Vegas? Fire jumping Lake Okanagan? Yellowknife 95% evacuated? Is this for real? As our planet heats up, it seems no place is protected from disaster.
I can spiral down pretty fast with climate and weather anxiety. After all, I'm a farmer whose livelihood depends on the environment and we've experienced droughts, excessive water (although not lately!), disease and pestilence. It's imprinted on me, I think.
I've written about hope before and I continually come back to Brene Brown's idea that "hope is a function of struggle". Hope is more than an emotion, it's a way of thinking, learned out of struggle. When I create alternatives to overcome hard things and see it through, hope is born.
Hope is about asking myself better questions like "What is within my power to control? What is not? What am I going to do about it?"
I recently listened to an On Being podcast recently featuring Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist and climate transformation advocate, who asks the question "What if we get this right?" about climate change and adaptation.
"What if we get this right?" is not a question I've been asking. But I believe it's a better question I should ponder.
With catastrophic news all around us, it's hard to envision a future where we get it right . . . where we take the tools we already have in our toolkit (alternate transportation, wind, solar energy, composting, agricultural practices and more) to mitigate humanly accelerated climate change and transform our future.
Ayana asks "Can we be led by what we know we have to do to save what we love?" We love people. We love the world. We love our homes.
Love can be a powerful force, I believe.
People only change when the pain is bad enough. I know this from personal experience.
When our farm was struggling through the last major drought of the early 2000's, we had to make life changing decisions about our future as farmers. In debt up to our eyeballs, amidst plagues of grasshoppers, no rain and low commodity prices, the risk of staying the same was as great (or greater) than the risk of changing in how we farmed.
We chose transformation. And we're still here. Better for it.
Back to climate change. I can't watch the earth burn while wallowing in self-pity on the couch. I think we gotta try! I love this place too much.
Wonder, curiosity and imagination have led human beings to do great things over time. Can we do it again to recreate our future?
Let's ask ourselves the better questions and make the seemingly impossible, possible.