Adding a bit of commentary marked by dry humor, the BBC anchor stated today, “The temperatures in parts of the UK are lower than at the North Pole.” While that’s a potent image for England known for its mild, wet winters, found more humor in the irony that because of a shortage of road salt, the Netherlands is using bath salts on their roads to combat the ice. This is not to say that it’s any warmer this week throughout the US and Canada.
As the Northern hemisphere contends with abnormally cold temperatures, perhaps it was not surprising that one of my friends sent an email with one simple question: “What happened to global warming?” This friend is one of the few people I know who question that global warming is occurring. My rye response was simply this, “Perhaps we’re just going directly to the next ice age which is to follow global warming.”
It’s not my intent to debate the merits of the science supporting global warming. Instead, I am concerned that those who deny global warming and insist that the earth is experiencing normal fluctuations in temperature conclude that nothing should be done about pollution. While global warming is a matter of science, how we choose to live in the world is a matter of spirituality.
The way we care for the world around us, whether that world is defined as our living space, our neighborhood, or the globe, is a reflection of the way we care for ourselves and how we view others and the world around us. Living with reverence for the Divine life in us and in others requires that we do what we can to care for the environment in which we live, keeping it clean and healthy for ourselves and others. This has implications for our homes, our neighborhoods as well as the global community.
Limiting environmental pollution, reducing our carbon footprint, and recycling what we can are spiritual practices which affirm that life in sacred and that something of the Divine is found in us and in others.
What does the big chill over the Northern hemisphere have to do with global warming? I haven’t a clue. I’m a social scientist not an environmental scientist. As for caring for the earth, that’s something that has implications for environmental science, spirituality and the quality of our lives on every level.
© 2010, emerging by Lou Kavar, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.