Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 16, 2013

For the past few years, it seems to me, our winters have changed dramatically. Oh, we still get cold weather, and a lot of it. Sometimes it is brutally cold. We still get snow—we had a dumping here on December 26th, the first real snowfall of the year. It continued to snow off and on for a week, and we ended up with about four to six inches, all told. But the winters are not like they used to be when I was younger—even when I was a young mother.

Used to be the snow would begin anytime after October first, and wouldn’t be gone until mid March, and sometimes April or May. There was a reason why you never, ever planted your garden before May 24th around here, and that was it.

In years past, if in the middle of January, all of the snow melted so that there was not a speck of it on the ground—like it did this past weekend—well that would have been an extraordinary thing, indeed.

But that very phenomenon seems to be the norm for the last few years or more here in my part of Canada.

I remember having enough snow in the yard, when I was a kid, to build an enormous fort with tunnels (no one ever told me that was dangerous). My older brother had to help me with stacking the “bricks”, the fort was so tall. I also recall sitting in the front seat of our car and marveling that you could not see over the snow piled up on the side of the road by the snowplows as you traveled down the road.

It was that way my second year of marriage, too, the year when we moved back out to the country from the city.

When my oldest was ten, I built an ice rink in our side yard. I took an hour or so every day for a week, spraying the area with the garden hose, which I had to then take into the house immediately after so it wouldn’t freeze. That rink lasted until the end of April!

With my own senses I know that the weather is changing; it’s different than it was. I cannot say with scientific certainty that this means global warming is real. I can’t because I am not a scientist, but I know it is true, nonetheless.

I understand, really I do, why so many politicians and officials fight this idea that we’re in deep kaka with Mother Nature. They have their own interests, their own agendas, and they cannot grasp that anything could possibly interfere with those things.

Businesses don’t want to acknowledge the change that is happening or admit culpability because it would cost them money; so they make sizeable contributions to political campaigns instead to ensure that nothing gets done, no new regulations get passed, and so they don’t have to spend more of their profits to fix the problem.

In the meantime, the damage we’ve done to the environment gets exacerbated every year. Eventually we will come to a tipping point. And then, these industrialists and nabobs will lose their profits anyway because there will be no one to buy their products.

There are things in this world that are infinite—like love and hope—but our resources, and our atmosphere are not. I personally believe that already there are holes in the ozone layer far more devastating than “they” want us to know about.

The sad part is that if everyone did what they could, if everyone did something, this damage could be reversed. We humans have so very much in our power in our hands; we have no idea! Together, there really is very little we cannot do.

But that’s the sticking point. We have to do these things together.

I don’t pretend to have any answers. Social awareness seems to be an ebb and flow kind of thing. Just when you think the collective consciousness is waking up, someone slips it a Mickey Finn and it falls comatose again.

But I worry about this on many fronts, not the least of which is our accountability to the Lord. We are not being very good stewards of the planet God gave us.


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