So far, it has been a wet and cold summer. Unlike the last two to three years, we have not had a heatwave or drought during the summer months. We have had a few thunderstorms that have scared even me, a self-confessed thunderstorm lover. But we have been really lucky so far, while areas just a half-hour away from us have had no luck. But as is probably the nature of us humans, so many complain and complain. I understand that it’s not easy when the kids are on summer vacation, and you can’t make plans for trips in the area or further afield.
Nevertheless, large parts of Europe were under water. People died or lost everything in the floods and flash floods that caught them unprepared. There were huge mudslides that buried everything. There were severe storms with hail from pea to tennis ball size and even tornadoes where there had never been any before. Other, even larger areas are currently burned to the ground or suffering from extreme heatwaves, for example, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. Fires and heat waves also threaten many other parts of the world, such as in Canada and California. Again, so many people have died and lost everything – and it will continue for a while as the fires are more or less completely out of control. The devastations are indescribable. It breaks my heart.
But there is something that scares me much more. Not only are the events of the last few weeks and months dramatic evidence of climate change, but all of this is also actually accelerating the process. The fires are emitting huge amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, while the trees that are supposed to offset that are being decimated by the fires AND flooding disasters. Recently, I was talking to my 18-year-old about the issue of the permafrost melting in Siberia due to the fires there which is driving climate change yet again and many times over. He said the melting of ice and glaciers is a major threat because we don’t know what viruses and life forms are lurking underneath that we don’t even have an idea about yet. I have the impression that nature’s patience has run out, and she is now speeding things up to let us know that she is not willing to tolerate our ignorance and naivety any longer. I dare to bet that it is not 5 to 12, but at least 12.
A few years ago, I had a vision of dried desert-like lands. I saw them being poisoned and exploited without thinking of the consequences. As a result, I saw nations of refugees fleeing from all directions to the last places on this planet where life was possible. I saw bloody battles for the last resources and for the right to survive. I am sorry for this bleak picture I am painting here. I am a positive person, but right now, I am struggling.
Many people are now eager to change their habits. When the topic of “greenhouse gases” came up in the early 80s, it had already frightened me as a young teenager. I only bought deodorant sprays that were free of greenhouse gases, and I urged my family to separate our trash into paper and glass. I have continued to do that, plus I have been separating metal and plastic too. We are now considering buying an electric car (Switzerland provides green electricity, although silicon batteries are still an issue for me). We have changed our heating system from gas to an air source heat pump. We are in the process of installing a photovoltaic system to produce our own electricity. But seriously, we should have done this 20 years ago. Can we still turn it around? I don’t know, and I feel guilty for not responding sooner, but I’m not giving up. We still have to try, and we have to take action now. It may cost jobs if, for example, there are no more cruises, if there are fewer flights, and prices go up if fossil fuels are banned or drastically curtailed (which may not happen anyway because of the oil lobby). I know that’s not thinking it through to the end, and of course, it’s all not that simple. But what good is a job if there is no place to do it anymore?
Long stroy short: Yes, we have had “bad” weather here for weeks and months. Still, we have a home, we are having enough water and food, and we are not threatened to lose our homes or our lives. Even Corona is not limiting us anymore at the moment.
Seriously, what’s the big deal?
In Love and Light