Global Warming: Feeling the Power of Nature

The way I feel the power of nature has changed. It might be a change in me, aging or temperance, something like that. But at 105 degrees F in New York City this summer, and with storms that felt like they were blowing the windows in when they came, I think the change in how I feel has something to do with the weather.
Some call it global warming, some call it climate change, I call it feeling the power of nature. In the face of overwhelming power, people experience reactions from pleasure to awe to fear.
 
Remember the scientific method from school days? Problem, hypothesis, method, results, discussion and conclusions? I’ve taken comfort in the scientific method for many years as a way to tease apart things that baffle me, from plants to human behavior. But when it comes to the power of nature felt in global warming, science has failed me. We have a problem, we had a hypothesis about increased pollution trapping the heat on earth, we had results that supported this reasoning, but we fell apart in the discussion and conclusion sections.
 I’m not sure where we missed the whole point, which was to do something about the pollution before we tipped over into the “it’s really quite too late” place.
In last week’s discussion at the Brecht Forum in NYC on Environmental Dangers and Science as a Hammer for Change, I was reminded that science as a tool has failed dramatically when it comes to the environment. The tragedy of the Dust Bowl in the US for example, was predicted by scientists of the time. Yet scientists could not move people to take steps to avert the disaster. Here we are again, with global warming. With a 1.8 degree F, and 1 degree C rise causing melting of polar ice, increase in extreme severe weather, and a new pattern of water in the atmosphere bypassing our areas of drought and deluging our areas of flood, the evidence of global warming’s devastation is everywhere.
A fascinating source of facts vs. fiction on global warming from the Union of Concerned Scientists at: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/global-warming-faq.html
I used to predict rain when I lived in the Bronx, from the sounds of the distant rain falling on the trees of the Botanical Garden on its way to me. I would say “come on, come on” and look forward to the storm arriving, waiting on the steps outside my apartment. I was fascinated by the thunder, the lightning, the sheets of rain around me. Freaked out my family a bit when the rain would come, who thought I might be some sort of witch in secret. Science is like that, it can seem like witchcraft but it isn’t, really. It is prediction based on observations. Science can seem like magic when the methods are not fully disclosed and the measures are not well understood. The more we open up and show the method of science, the less it will be mistrusted. And I hope, the more it’s predictions might be heard.
To prepare for the Brecht Forum session, I watched “The 11th Hour” from Leonardo DiCaprio with interviews of many scientists from all disciplines discussing the evidence for global warming and the need to reduce pollution. A video of DiCaprio talking about his documentary is here:
So now, I don’t call in storms any longer. I fear severe weather with a dread as powerful as my fascination used to be. Now when I hear the storm coming, I’m inside, I’m closing the windows, I’m waiting.
How do you feel and what do you do in the face of extreme weather?
Please leave a comment, I’ll look forward to sharing views here.
We have worshiped the sun in various forms with many names for ages in the pantheon of gods. Now is a time for action, so our gods do not become our demons.

You may also be interested in:

DEATH AND THE DREAM, short stories from J.J.Brown available at  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/79628 as an ebook edition distributed by Smashwords. The paperback edition is coming soon.

21 thoughts on “Global Warming: Feeling the Power of Nature

  1. Hi folks, yes, it does seem like we are about to pay the piper for our refusal to listen. Actually, it is governments who listen to business interests rather than to scientists, who can wear a lot of this one. Sadly, everybody wants it better, but to get there, we need to make changes, and so we are.
    On a slightly brighter note, the warming trend has brought benefits to us here farther north. We rarely need AC in our homes, and our winter heating bills are going down. The past week has seen temperatures hover in the teens or very low twenties C, about sixties F.
    Ladies, this is a small town near a city. I’d love to see it become a writer’s community, so, ya’ll come.

    1. Prudence thank you for sharing your experience here, and the insights about science and government. I wonder how people get to be a science advisor to the powers that be in the government, hmm. Probably has something to do with money I suspect, but I realy don’t know.

  2. Great subject which we need to get out to folks as to how they can help. I’ve been turning my property green. I’ve planted many flowers, bushes & trees. If we can get everyone to do something, it may not be able to turn the tide fast enough, but it can hopefully get everyone to realize that we can’t continue this way. There are many stories of companies and people doing great things to help our earth.

    1. Nancy it is encouraging to hear great examples like this, of living in a way more in harmony with the natural world. Even in a small apartment we can bring in plants to clean the air, and with access to a yard even so much more to help the environment. Trees are a miracle of air cleaning, water conservation, flood prevention – if we had to invent one we would need a true genius. Making “green” choices in purchases is helpful too as change begins within then moves outward in a natural way.

  3. As usual you bring great emotion with your pen to important issues, and it is interesting to listen to a hollywood star talk about important issues that affect the whole world.
    Nature is a force that will endure long after we have lived our short lives. We seem to believe, or see the future as never ending, at 18 the age of 40 or 50 seems like it is on the other side of earth, but we forget today it only takes about 12 hours to get to the other side of there. We wait and then we are there, our journey at an end. Today, now is the time to do, to act, not react. You may not succeed every day, in fact you will fail somedays, but that is life. Just as one rain drop can give life, several billion may destroy it. Keep taking one from several billion and you are back to one.

    We have much more to learn that we can possible imagine, and much has already been taught, we just did not hear. We have to listen with our hearts and live from within. There is always hope where there is life, and nature is life. We can all make a difference, but we must make a difference in how we live, not just what we buy or do not buy.

    Nature is the ultimate teacher, reacting to what is, adapting to change, continually striving to give life as only she can.

    I have always loved storms and sever whether (not the results but the event and the connective power that it brings). I have been frightened in storms at sea and in hurricanes on land. I give nothing but respect to the raw power of what nature can create and destroy. But it is in those times when I feel (as Lillian said), “connected to the earth around me”. Whether a harsh winter, a the sweltering summer day, an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, whatever it is it, the weather is a lesson that has been taught for billions of years. We are fast learners and adapt well to change to come out the other end, but we look and see with such limitations. Take a moment, go out in the hot sun or pouring rain and be at one with nature, let go of who you are (Simon,Jennifer,Lillian …) and open your heart to what you are. We will adapt and if we listen we will learn. There are lessons within each moment and nature is one one of the planets greatest teachers.

    We forget, yesterday was today that was tomorrow; and now it has gone. We can not wait for tomorrow to change today. Nature is, and we are; our problem is that we forget what “is”, to who we are.

    Thanks for the wonderful post,
    Warmest,
    Simon

    1. Simon thank you for sharing your experiences and hopes here – this is a great commentary. “Today, now is the time to do, to act, not react.” I see this too all around me now. Your experience at sea must give you a great window into the power of the natural elements, and I admire your courage to still want to be part of it all.

  4. The other day I was out walking in a storm, it was pouring rain, and the immediate impulse I had was to cower and turn my face away from the drops. But then I thought about it, and I wondered why am I doing this? Why am I shielding myself from water? It doesn’t bite… So I opened myself up to the rain, and I looked up at it, and smiled, and felt fantastic. I felt happy and alive and connected to the earth around me. I think we often forget that were part of earth, and instead view nature as the enemy. I too hope to find ways to help ease pain for ppl & the earth however I can.

  5. We fear what we don’t understand. Because, in most cases, we cannot control what we don’t understand. In science, understanding physical phenomena is essential to designing control systems. Anyway, I digress.

    The fear of nature, and her extremities, is perhaps nothing new. It is part of our primal fears – because, even with all the advances in science, weather is one of the last, perhaps final frontier out of our control.

    So, this is where our good friend, spirituality comes in. When science make us feel inadequate, faith can step in.

    Be still. Be well.

    Kumud

    1. Hi Kumud, I wish we knew how to build a control system for the part of human nature that tends to expand systems way beyond what nature can support. That would be a great invention. I dread seeing my childhood home area of the Catskill Mountains turned into a dustbowl or ghosttown, as overuse has done to other beautiful places. Thank you for sharing your perspective here, on the great history of our culture with nature – the home of the gods.

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