Wednesday, September 5, 2018

OUR NATURE PLACES AND CLIMATE CHANGE

My contemplative walks in the woods and to a local pond are essential to my taking care of myself. My work as a psychotherapist, which requires deep compassionate listening and my being in the energy field of so much pain and suffering, can sometimes be very depleting. These twice a week walks enable me to recharge my psychological batteries. I have recommended this practice in other blogs(e.g. Recharging). From the feedback that I've received that suggestion has been helpful. These sojourns into nature also create a psychospiritual space of openness and receptivity wherein I connect to: God, to my personal Higher Self, to other realms of consciousness and to the non-human beings who live in those nature places. As a result of many years of these walks I have developed a deep love and attachment to these places. They have become sanctuaries for me.
THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
I live in a small town in western Massachusetts so I have not yet experienced some of the catastrophic effects of climate change that have occurred in other parts of the world. What I have witnessed have been more subtle, but I can project over the next decade(s). What will happen to our beloved forests and to the creatures that live in them that are genetically adapted to New England winters?; what will happen as there is much less snow to those families that rely on the income generated by those who enjoy winter activities?; what health issues will be produced by the rising horde of disease-bearing ticks and increased air pollution? At 76 I do not expect to witness these more severe effects. But the younger members of my community will. And my sons and their families who live in New York, New Jersey, Maine and New Hampshire will. What will they experience? What will the impact be over the next few decades upon other people all over the world and upon the non-human beings who are our companions on this planet?
What changes have you observed in your beloved local nature places? What do you project will happen there in the next few decades? What about the places where your children and grandchildren live? Friends,family members and colleagues?
From my perspective it is important that the words "climate change" not be an abstract notion. By personalizing it and focusing on what we are witnessing now locally and projecting it forward we will connect more deeply with our feelings. Sadness. Fear/terror. Anger/rage. Powerlessness. Hopelessness. Of course, these feelings are difficult to hold and to be more conscious of. For me what has arisen more strongly alongside these feelings is a greater need to DO SOMETHING and to be part of a group of people who are trying to DO SOMETHING. For years before this I have contributed money to environmental organizations, invested in companies working on these issues, gone to protests etc. But this feels different - for me it is activating an intention to devote time and energy to be part of a collective effort towards a solution. What "solution" I have chosen is to be involved in my local chapter of a national and international organization called Citizens Climate Lobby. Citizens Climate Lobby is focused on passing the legislative solution that climate scientists and economists of both political parties agree is the best legislative first step to reduce greenhouse gasses and the likelihood of catastrophic climate change - carbon fee and dividend. Simply, a fee is charged to the fossil fuel company at the point of origin(the coal mine, oil or natural gas oil well). All the money collected is held in a fund and returned to each American citizen in the form of a monthly check. One of the major impacts of CCL efforts thus far has been the formation and significant expansion of a bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the US House of Representatives. I would strongly encourage you to learn more about carbon fee and dividend and the Citizens Climate Lobby(www.citizensclimatelobby.org) and support its work.
My primary purpose in writing this blog is to encourage you to "DO SOMETHING' and to help your clients to deal with their sense of being overwhelmed and powerless by also DOING SOMETHING. What is essential is that whatever you decide to do resonates with you personally. This heartfelt and soulful motivation coupled with being part of a collective will be what sustains us in our efforts to deal with this huge issue. If Citizens Climate lobby does not resonate with you as what you personally want to do, please support our efforts, and also take a look at the book "Drawdown" by Paul Hawken which offers a number of other "solutions". I'm sure that you will find something that connects with you. We need to utilize many approaches to confront this problem.