Having just witnessed a pair of devastating hurricanes hit our country while tracking others in the Atlantic, I am convinced that something is brewing in the atmosphere of world thought we need to pay attention to. It seems that tornados, floods, snowstorms, hailstorms and earthquakes are becoming more frequent and destructive, as well. What is Mother Nature telling us? As a student of the Bible, this reminds me of the nine plagues sent against Pharaoh in Exodus as God is measuredly trying to convince him to let His people go, each plague worse than the one before, and each with a specific symbolism. As we know, Pharaoh finally woke up and responded to the inevitable will of God for the greater good of his children. Will we?
I’m intrigued that recent events coming on the heels of Al Gore’s recent documentary An Inconvenient Sequel underscore the urgency and credibility of its warning. The real-life scenes we’ve seen played out on television as hurricanes Irma and Harvey victims survey damage to their material possessions and work to pick up shattered lives are eerily similar to the stories we hear about war refugees in other countries. Perhaps we are witnessing a new phenomenon of climate change refugees. Meanwhile, secularism holds increasing sway in America. Will we learn to turn to God for guidance and healing? Reports of divine protection from Irma’s destruction are pouring in from Natural Awakenings staff who are grateful for many blessings amidst the chaos.
As evidenced in my other favorite documentary, Racing Extinction, many people have already been displaced due to impacts associated with climate change, such as fishing villages whose livelihood died off due to rising water temperatures, or islanders’ homes now underwater from rising sea levels (early signs are showing up in Miami Beach, too). Because such changes don’t come with the visible drama of sudden catastrophes, they are not generally noticed as part of the wakeup call.
The great opportunity is to change our collective behavior and do things differently. As communities rebuild and relocate to sounder geographies, now is the time to design with a lighter carbon emissions footprint, including sustainable building materials, renewable energy sources, locally grown healthy food and shorter commutes to places where we work and play.
Are we listening to and heeding the call to awake to a more natural way of living? We can each daily take steps that add up. As always, we hope you will find something in this month’s issue that inspires you to action toward a more clean and green, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Bernice Butler, Publisher