Are You Woke?

Bernice Butler

As we hunker down for the dog days of summer, I find I’m having near-daily discussions about climate change—where it’s taking us and where it’s going to leave us. These conversations and speculations are aided and abetted by a couple of things: regular news reports from faraway places like Paris that are reaching record high temperatures and warnings about the heat and/or dangerous ozone levels here in North Texas, with admonitions to stay hydrated and stay inside if possible, especially for folks with breathing problems or allergies.

What to do? Take allergy meds and stop listening to the news? Well, I tried that, but as I continue to clean up and repair damage from the five trees that fell on my house during our recent “storm-nado,” I see there’s no escaping global warming. Our atmosphere and our planet are changing right before our eyes undeniably. Consider, for example, the canopy that the “storm-nado” removed: Those five trees that landed on top of my house are no longer providing the shade that kept temperatures inside my house lower, so now my air conditioning runs longer and harder, and my energy bills will increase. This scenario is being repeated in neighborhoods all over North Texas, like those I drove through where tree debris was stacked high on both sides of the street and in some cases, blocking the street entirely.

I believe events like these are wake-up calls—and as we know, it takes some of us longer to wake up than others. We might not wake up when natural disasters obliterate homes in other countries or even distant parts of our own country, but we do wake up when they impact us or people we care about. These events are giving us a message about what to do in the face of an unprecedented global challenge: We must become interested, informed and involved.

  • Interested enough to examine and protect ourselves from the real, but less dramatic effects of climate change, such as higher property taxes, energy bills and insurance rates.
  • Informed about what causes climate change, how it shapes weather events and how these events affect not just the planet, but also our daily lives.
  • Involved by doing our part to fight climate change—little by little, minute by minute, day by day. That means adjusting our habits and actions related to the consumption and use of the natural resources around us. It also means holding our national leaders accountable for protecting the Earth.

So let me ask you: Are you woke yet?

It is our greatest desire that Natural Awakenings can be an invaluable ally for folks in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on their journey to “woke” as it relates to their health and well-being and the health and well-being of our planet. This month’s offerings, as always, seek to impart the simple but important message that green living is healthy and healthy living is green. The Creator has given us all we need to survive and thrive, and an instruction manual as well. Our job is to be good stewards of what we’ve been given—to respect the sanctity of nature and to be informed about how our actions (and inactions!) can affect its self-sustainability. For all that we have, want and need comes from it.

Blessings until next month.





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