My connection with Nature is one of the four essential connections of my #HeartspokenLife. It grounds me, calms me, and nourishes my soul. So of course, Earth Day, is a time to reflect on this, but my reflections today went deeper.
Surely we can all agree that the world has experienced increasingly severe weather events over the last 20-30 years: hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods, and extreme hot and cold temperatures. I ask you to set aside any political implications to this topic. I don’t want to argue—at least not today—about whether Climate Change is caused by natural cyclical fluctuations or by the impact of human behavior and practices. That is totally irrelevant to a reality that we don’t often think about but which is all too true: severe weather impacts the poor far out of proportion to others, and this is true across all countries and cultures.
The bottom line reason for this seems to be that the areas most negatively impacted by dramatic weather events are often those inhabited by people who can’t afford to live in safer areas or stronger structures: low-lying or remote properties with little drainage, shade, or vegetation; poorly constructed buildings; lightweight mobile homes; or hastily constructed shelters comprised of whatever debris or refuse is available to desperate, homeless people. These are the kinds of places whose occupants are most at risk of extremes such as flooding, mudslides, high winds, torrential rains, drought, and searing or freezing temperatures.The impact of extreme weather is one of the many reasons poverty kills.Click To Tweet
Thankfully, at least in the United States, we’re getting better at weather predictions, earlier evacuations, more efficient emergency procedures, and faster and more effective emergency responsiveness. But every big natural disaster emergency seems to uncover areas where we fall short.
So on this Earth Day 2023, I simply ask that we think beyond the care of our Mother Earth and realize that it entails more than carbon footprints, biodiversity, fighting pollution, and saving energy. It entails all those things, of course, but so much more. We humans ARE part of the biodiversity. We ARE major players in the planet’s ecosystem. We’ve got to take care of each other too.
And while there will always be those who “milk the system” and abuse the generosity of various kinds of government welfare, there are also those who are in trouble through no fault of their own and face horrendous obstacles to improving their situations. We humans DO have more agency than most species for improving the well-being of ourselves and our planet. And we CAN begin to take better care of those who are less able to care for themselves…to give them a hand. Most of them want nothing more than a chance, and when they’re able, they can join the effort to help others and contribute to a better world.
Fighting poverty is not the solution to reducing the extreme weather events we see from climate change, but it could reduce their terrible impact.
You might also enjoy these posts from the Heartspoken archives:
- Earth Day 2020: 50 Years
- Earth Day 2014: Honoring Our Island Home
- All “Connect with Nature” blog posts