You know those days you awaken, and everything is dismal? Those days where it feels as though stress and grey anxiety are already scrabbling at your rapidly-cooling body, even though you’ve just thrown off the covers?
That’s what the United States feels like, right now. It feels as though the nation is collectively holding its breath, just waiting for January 20, 2017. Some of us who are afraid are trying to stay busy and active, calling representatives, donating to organisations, trying to do something. Others who live in fear bury their heads in the sand, hoping to wait out the next four years.
(‘Maybe, if I stay quiet, they won’t notice me.’)
Still others are excited about the next four years. I can’t explain this, because I don’t know this feeling.
We went for a hike at Borderland State Park Sunday. It was beautiful, and it was tragic. I could see the bottom of one of the ponds. It was covered with rocks, and very still.
I am scared I will not see the bottom of this pond – or that this pond will not even exist – within my lifetime.
Climate change is real. This is not a political statement. It is a fact, just like the fact that the Earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. But, instead of living in harmony with nature, and seeking to learn within it, we distance ourselves from it, in many ways: climate change denial, video games, television, social media, the 24-hour news cycle, fitness programs that simulate being outside – you name it, we’ve done it.
There are many of us who are trying to take steps to mitigate what we see as a disastrous next four years. Most of these steps are social, and that’s not a bad thing. But we cannot forget that the planet needs care, too. We cannot forget that, at the end of the day, we breathe the air in which our birds fly. We drink the water in which fish have swum, and delicate amphibians have once bred. We walk on earth that is far older than we, its balance necessary to sustain the greenness of the world. We live in ecosystems that are much more fragile than they appear, and we cannot forget about them.
The only life we know exists here, right now.
In the spirit of this knowledge, please consider donating to, or giving your time to any one of these causes.
(And nope, no one is paying me to write this. I just care too much about our planet to let it come second, in our hearts.)
Wildlife Conservation Network
Environmental Defense Fund
Standing Rock – I am including Standing Rock, because the cause is more than about ‘just’ a pipeline. It quite literally will dictate the future of a very large area of land and water, as well as the futures of the people on and near it, and may very well set a precedent for future industrial projects on First Nations land, and other delicate places.
The Nature Conservancy
Oh, also: go for a walk.